FARSLEY Celtic extended their lead at the summit of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Bamber Bridge.

The Preston-based outfit are mid-table but Roses derby clashes are always difficult and the Celts had to work hard for their three-point maximum. They began well and a shot from Chris Atkinson was deflected onto the bar before Dave Syers put the rebound wide from the edge of the area.

But they broke the deadlock in the 17th minute through Nathan Cartman, Paul Walker finding the striker with a through ball after Farsley had won possession back deep into Brig’s territory.

It was the only goal of the first half but the visitors doubled their advantage before the hour mark. Ben Atkinson claimed the assist as his long through ball picked out Jimmy Spencer who beat home keeper Lloyd Rigby.

Bamber Bridge created a few half-chances but Adam Lakeland’s men put the gloss on their victory just over 10 minutes from time as Cartman bagged his brace. Jack Higgins helped on a Will Hayhurst corner and the diminutive striker netted at the second attempt.

The win kept the Celts at the top and they now have a four-point cushion as second-placed Warrington Town were held to a 1-1 draw at Stafford Rangers.

Brighouse Town are now further away from top spot in the east division after leaders Morpeth Town edged a five-goal thriller at St Giles Road.

It should not have been a nail-biting end for the Highwaymen as they stretched their lead to 3-1 10 minutes after going down to 10 men, but the home side cut their lead again and pressed forward in the eight minutes of time added on.

The visitors’ defender Iulian Petrache had netted the only goal of the first half and Vill Powell’s half-time team talk was in tatters when Morpeth’s Sean Taylor scored just three minutes into the second period.

Midway through that second half Aaron Martin nodded Brighouse back into the game and two minutes later Morpeth’s Liam Henderson was shown a straight red card. The 10 men regained their two-goal advantage when Ben Sayer netted a good shot but that strike was outdone by James Hurtley when he fired into the top corner in the penultimate minute.

The numerically-reduced visitors did a sterling job of holding onto their slender advantage throughout the long period of stoppage time.