Men's First Team
National League North Sat 13 April Blackwell Meadows
  • Lawlor (53')
  • Rutledge (60')
  • Main (90+2'')
Farsley Celtic
  • Atkinson (83')

Farsley Celtic suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Darlington at Blackwell Meadows, meaning the relegation battle will come down to the last day.

The Celts kept Darlington at bay during an even first half, but second half goals from Jake Lawlor, Aiden Rutledge and Cedric Main secured a crucial three points for the Quakers despite a late goal from Ben Atkinson while the score was 2-0.

Farsley were boosted by the return of defender Isaac Assenso from injury and it made an impact in the first half as Darlington were limited to very little in the way of chances. The hosts had half chances through Cameron Salkeld and Main but weren’t able to truly threaten Zan-Luk Leban in goal.

The Celts created small openings for themselves and almost took the lead early on when Darren Stephenson’s effort on the stretch didn’t generate quite enough power to beat Matty Young in goal.

The second half was a different story however with Darlington immediately on the front foot, taking the lead nearly ten minutes in when Lawlor’s downward header from a set piece found its way through Leban and into the back of the net.

The lead was doubled on the hour mark when Rutledge collected the ball on the edge of the box before unleashing a thunderous strike into the top right corner, giving Leban no chance.

Farsley fought back against the lead and almost pulled one back with 20 minutes left to play when captain Conor Branson’s glancing header from a set piece was saved by Young.

The Celts then found their lifeline when Ben Atkinson found space on the right side of the box, before pulling the trigger and beating Young in goal to hopefully setup a late comeback.

Unfortunately Atkinson’s goal was in vein as the home side broke in the final minutes with Farsley pushing numbers up. After a superb save from Leban and a goal-line clearance from Assenso, Main collected the ball and smashed in Darlington’s third to put the result beyond doubt and secure his teams’ survival.

The result means Farsley stay in the final relegation spot ahead of the last round of the 2023/24 season where Clayton Donaldson’s side will host Buxton at The Citadel, level on points with Blyth Spartans after their defeat at Scunthorpe United.