Close but no play-off prize as Farsley falter at the finish

Neil Parsley’s men had a tough end to the season

Neil Parsley’s men had a tough end to the season

First published in Farsley by

Review of season

The season ended in frustration for Farsley as they fell agonisingly short of making the Evo-Stik League play-offs, finising seventh in the table.

Neil Parsley’s men were on track even after their Division One North rivals had exhausted their games in hand.

But a nightmare fixture list in the last few weeks of the campaign ultimately cost them a place in the end-of-season extras.

Farsley lost their first game of the season 1-0 at Clitheroe but were soon into their stride and beat Darlington 1883, most people’s favourites for promotion.

The club that rose from the ashes of the former Football League outfit boast huge support and were expected to march through the league.

Having banked nine points from the first 12 on offer, Farsley were in a decent league position but were then dumped out of the FA Cup.

Parsley’s side also exited the FA Trophy at the first hurdle, again to an old adversary and league rival.

Lancaster City beat them 3-1 at Throstle Nest in the Cup, while Kendal Town knocked them out of the Trophy with a 3-2 win in Cumbria.

Those early knockout losses did not affect Farsley’s league form as they extended their unbeaten run to seven games. A home defeat to Burscough in late October brought that to an end and a home reverse to Warrington Town soon followed.

But they bounced back to go on a 14-game unbeaten run in the league, 11 of which were victories. It was February before Parsley’s men suffered their fifth defeat, so by that time they were established promotion contenders.

They were riding high in second place but, because they had gone out of the cup competitions so early, had played more matches than all their rivals. The other promotion contenders were playing their games in hand but Farsley managed to stay in the hunt.

Then came a slip as successive games against bogey side Kendal, second-placed Warrington and leaders Curzon Ashton brought just one point from nine.

Mid-table Salford City then pitched up at the Nest – just a day after the announcement that they had been bought by the Manchester United legends of the ‘Class of 92’ left them on a high and another defeat was inflicted on Farsley.

Parsley took his side to play-off rivals Ramsbottom United and Lancaster before the return game against Ramsbottom, followed by a trip to leaders Curzon. Amazingly Farsley came through those four games unbeaten with two wins and two draws.

That gave them three fixtures to book their place in the play-offs but a loss at Darlington, who finished runners-up to Curzon, left Parsley’s men hanging on and a tame goalless draw at home to Harrogate Railway Athletic in the penultimate match of the season extinguished their hopes.

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