Farsley 2, New Mills 1
A blistering start was enough to see third-placed Farsley to another Evo-Stik League victory and keep them firmly in the Division One North promotion hunt.
The high-flying hosts had been wary of lowly opponents New Mills – and with good reason as the Derbyshire outfit should have taken an early lead.
Wesley Bancroft found himself in space in the Farsley area in the second minute but the striker fired over from 12 yards.
The home side hit back with the best possible response by breaking the deadlock two minutes later.
The opening goal stemmed from a good break down the left flank and although Lee Ellington was crowded out at the far post, skipper Rob O’Brien rammed the ball home.
It was 2-0 ten minutes later courtesy of an own goal. Farsley’s pressure led to a corner and when Matty Young dropped the flag-kick into the centre of the six-yard box, it went in off the thigh of Danny Grimshaw.
Farsley continued to dominate possession but the final ball was lacking, although there were more chances in a first half that saw the visitors’ defence appearing to be all at sea.
Ellington beat visiting keeper Peter Collinge to a through-ball but his chip from the edge of the area drifted wide.
With half-time approaching, a superb break from left back Ryan Serrant was followed by some sharp and accurate passing. But even though O’Brien was in acres of space when the final pass picked him out, he put his low shot the wrong side of the post.
The home side put even more pressure on the New Mills goal after the break but the third goal proved to be elusive.
Centre back Matt Dempsey, following a corner, and O’Brien were both denied by the woodwork. There were also several blocked shots and Collinge did well in one-on-one situations.
The visitors’ commendable second-half defensive display gave them some hope and they remained dangerous on the break.
That culminated in the 75th minute when Chris Baguley latched on to a pass across the edge of the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner.
Farsley still came closer to adding to their score than New Mills did in the remaining quarter-hour but it should have been a more convincing victory.
Manager Neil Parsley said: “We made it difficult for ourselves; unnecessarily difficult.
“We had so many chances that we should have scored from. There were a lot of one-on-ones and we hit the post twice.
“New Mills defended very well in the second half but we can’t get away from the fact that we should have put the game to bed much earlier.
“It hasn’t been too damaging as it was another three points and we are happy with our league position. But we have to make the most of our chances and finish teams off in future.”