Harriers see unbeaten finish amid ‘chaos’ at Farsley

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BASEMENT side Farsley Celtic ended the Harriers’ latest unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win that saw both teams finish with ten men.

The Aggborough side never managed to get any semblance of control on a blustery afternoon that saw a total of three red cards brandished.

Farsley, rooted to the bottom of the table, was in the lead halfway through the first half thanks to a well-scored goal from Jimmy Spencer as he passed Luke Simpson for the first time.

The former Harrier Kennedy Digie then came close to doubling the lead as he struck inside the post before the visitors leveled things from the penalty spot. On goal, striker Amari Morgan-Smith was knocked down by goalkeeper Kyle Trenerry. Ashley Hemmings stepped up to make 13 for the season from 12 yards.

The second half saw chaos descend on the Citadel, with Farsley leading 2-1 shortly after the hour mark when they were awarded their own penalty. Morgan-Smith was penalized for handballing in the area, and Will Hayhurst stepped up past Luke Simpson.

Neither team managed to put on a significant period of pressure throughout the afternoon, unhelped by a tricky playing surface that left both groups of players guessing.

It could have gone either way, though, especially after both sides were down to ten men. Home boss Russ Wilcox had already received his marching orders to kick the ball in, before one of his own players in skipper Chris Atkinson joined him for a second bookable offence.

Before the Harriers built any advantage, they too were a light man after sub Joe Foulkes was dismissed for two careless yellows within 20 minutes of his introduction.

Eight minutes of added time failed to yield a second equalizer for Harriers – or even a scoring chance – with Jimmy O’Connor left to ponder the madness of it all full-time.

Three reds, a handful of yellows and two penalties for a draw where there was never any malice – he could only explain: “There were worries, worries everywhere and you can see it on field.

“There were 22 men there with egos flying everywhere – it happens, it’s a football game so no complaints there.

“It was difficult for the referee because it was chaos from the first minute, the ball was bouncing and there was no rhythm in the game.

“You don’t talk about form and tactics. You talk about the basics of football, and it was so difficult.

“We tried to do the right things but it gets very difficult when you concede and fall behind in the second half… it didn’t quite happen for us today – no complaints, we’ll take it on the chin.”

The Harriers travel to league leaders Gateshead next weekend.

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