Farsley Celtic’s eight-match unbeaten league run came to an end as they were beaten 2-0 at Scunthorpe United.
Two second half goals from the home side were enough to secure three points for the league leaders and top scorers – but the well-organised Celts can take heart from a determined defensive performance.
Had Joao Silva’s first half effort not hit the post, and The Celts not had a goal ruled out for offside shortly afterwards, perhaps the result could have been different.
As expected, Scunthorpe dominated possession for long spells but were faced by a hard-working Farsley side who came with a clear plan to frustrate their full-time counterparts.
And when The Irons did find the target, they found Farsley stopper Zan Luk Leban in fine form.
The first half saw Farsley give as good as they got and they weren’t overawed by their more illustrious opponents and a home crowd of 4,468. After Farsley started well, it was the hosts who had the first real chance of the game, Danny Whitehall planting a diving header wide of the post on 13 minutes.
Scunthorpe had a couple of half chances before The Celts came closest to scoring on 33 minutes. George Smith swung in a cross which was met by the head of Silva – but his effort agonisingly came back off of the far post.
Seven minutes later The Celts thought they had taken the lead, but the linesman’s flag was raised to spare the home side’s blushes.
Farsley keeper Leban then pulled off a couple of fine saves to keep Scunthorpe out just before half time as the hosts began to dominate.
The second half continued in a similar fashion and Scunthorpe finally found a way through from Jason Law’s shot on 52 minutes. Law thought he’d scored again four minutes later, but he was ruled offside.
Farsley were almost back in it just before the hour when Branson’s header from a corner almost found the net but Scunthorpe keeper Fitzsimons produced a diving save to keep it out.
Two minutes later Whitehall slid in at the far post to make it two for the visitors.
To their credit Farsley hung in there and almost pulled one back and 75 minutes when Ben Atkinson sent Coulson through but his first time effort was straight at Fitzsimons.
Despite their unbeaten eight-match run coming to an end, The Celts can take a lot from their performance ahead of Saturday’s return fixture at The Citadel.