Two goals from Daniel Douglas-Pringle ensured New Mills won the first leg of the double-header Evo Stik Division One North matches with Farsley AFC.
Farsley were desperately unlucky having been the better side, but Neil Parsley’s team will rue the amount of wasted chances.
The result strengthens New Mills’ bid for a top five place and gives them the psychological edge over Farsley when the two sides meet again at Church Lane next Saturday.
The match itself was far from a classic. Despite being low on confidence after five games without a win, Farsley looked dangerous going forward. Adam Priestley had two good chances before scoring on 20 minutes after he rounded the New Mills goalkeeper.
But, Farsley’s frailties in midfield and defence were soon exposed when New Mills equalised just six minutes later. David Fitzpatrick was allowed time and space down the left and he saw his effort cannon back off the crossbar. The home defence failed to react and Douglas-Pringle lashed a strike into the bottom corner past Tom Morgan.
However, apart from the winner and one more chance at the start of the second half when Morgan pulled off a great save to keep the scores level, that was all New Mills had to offer.
Farsley had plenty of chances to score. Ryan Harrison went close with a header at the far post. Gareth Grant was guilty of a bad miss after being put through on goal. The striker and Priestley then both had efforts well-saved
And with time drawing to a close, the signs that New Mills would win it were there. They got the goal on 77 minutes. Fitzpatrick was again involved and his whipped cross found Douglas-Pringle waiting who simply headed the ball past Morgan from close range.
While there were negatives, there were a few positives. Among them were the referee's performance. The referee Craig Grundy (pictured above) had a superb game. He had full control of the game and was there on hand for every major decision. All the players respected him and he only needed to show two yellow cards. Craig is an example to all referees young and old on how to referee a football match properly. In a day and age when yellow cards are handed out like confetti, young referees should watch Craig referee and see alternative methods to dishing cards out. If only there were more like him.
From a Farsley perspective, it was a much better display and a win at Matlock Town in the Doodson Cup on Tuesday night will help get the confidence back.