By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
There is now no doubt that an Evo Stik Division One North play-offs place looks beyond Farsley AFC after the 2-0 defeat at Salford City. A dramatic run of wins would put them back in the picture, but given the inconsistency of Farsley’s season, it’s unlikely.
After a week off to visit Glasshoughton Welfare, I was back on Farsley duty and everyone knew it was a must-win game. I was confident, despite the fact that Salford can be a difficult place to go.
There was an air of confidence before the match. The burgers were nice, the people were nice and I got to have a conversation about the joys of Twitter with Salford’s Laura Flint, despite the fact she works for Manchester United. I even shared a laugh and joke with the referee and his two assistants about a play called ‘God’s Official’ which is being performed at Harrogate Theatre next month. It’s a comedy about a football team who are relegated because of a dodgy refereeing decision so they decide to kidnap the ref.
And until the hour mark, everyone was relatively happy. Farsley had played well and were creating multiple chances. Salford goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan had to pull out a number of good saves to prevent Farsley from going ahead. I saw new signing Osebi Abadaki for the first time and he looks like a fantastic coup. He caused a couple of problems, but his efforts were hindered by the fact Salford had two men on him at all times.
But, despite their dominance, Farsley were caught out and Salford got their goal. A second one followed and while Farsley nearly scored in the closing stages, it just wasn’t their day. Farsley could have played until midnight and I don’t think they would have scored. Salford’s goalkeeper deserves a medal for the number of saves he made. And how James Riley’s late header stayed out, I just don’t know?
So is that the end of Farsley’s season? Possibly, but Farsley have to keep going because it is still mathematically possible to reach the top five. Whatever the outcome, Farsley have the makings of a strong team for next season though. They have a leader in James Riley (pictured right) in the back four – a player who wins everything and has exceptional leadership skills. Robbie O’Brien has joined from Bradford (Park Avenue) and Robbie is a fantastic player. Hard-working and skilful, Robbie will become an important player for Farsley.
But, let’s leave next season plans alone for the time being and concentrate on the final 12 games.