Farsley Celtic 2 Marine 0

FARSLEY Celtic will be renewing some old rivalries in the Vanarama National League North next season after lifting the Evo-Stik Premier Division championship.

Adam Lakeland’s Farsley only needed to avoid defeat against struggling Marine on the final day of the season, but goals from Will Hayhurst and Jimmy Spencer saw them through to a comfortable home win.

As the Celts lifted the trophy on the pitch soon after the final whistle, the Marine players were left distraught as their defeat, coupled with a 2-1 win for Mickleover Sports, relegated the Liverpool side.

Lakeland said: “It’s an incredible feeling. We’ve had to work hard, you don’t win a league like this without working very, very hard, but that’s exactly what we’ve done and these players deserve all credit and the plaudits they will get from this.

“We made a decision to have a real go at it this season and from minute one, the very first pre-season training session right to the last whistle in this game we’ve worked these players.

“We’ve asked a lot of them, we’ve demanded a lot from and to be fair to them they’ve been with us every step of the way.

"We haven’t played well in the last six or seven games, we’ve been nowhere near the levels we were at earlier in the season but that’s going to happen.

“The relentless pace, the amount of games recently and the pressure going into the last few games is going to have that effect. But we’ve coped with it and continued to get the results, winning eight of our last nine games.

“To win this one was difficult and it means these lads (Marine) have got relegated and that’s tough on them. They played well today and they’re a good side, a good club and they’ll be a loss to this division. I wish them well.”

Marine’s task was made a lot more difficult when they were reduced to 10 men with almost half an hour left to play. They were already a goal down when Charlie Edge, who had received a yellow card in the first half for a late challenge on Hayhurst, dived in as Adam Clayton looked to clear the ball, earning himself a second yellow card.

The Mariners had started well and created early chances but the Celts slowly grew into the game and were dominant by the time they broke the deadlock.

Spencer did well after being forced wide and his cross from just inside the area caused the visitors’ defence all kinds of problems which allowed Hayhurst to drill in an angled shot.

Having taken the lead minutes before the break they ensured the three points with just quarter of an hour remaining.

A through ball into the path of Nathan Cartman saw him race clear and as Marine keeper Joe Hilton came off his line to narrow the angle Cartman laid it off to Spencer who fired in a low shot and the crowd erupted.

Meanwhile, a stoppage time goal at Brighouse Town earned Sheffield a 2-1 win and a place in the play-offs of Division One East in the Evo-Stik League and the three points lifted them one place in the table - meaning that they face Brighouse in the play-offs.

Town’s inclusion in the end-of-season extras was already confirmed before the final game of the regular season, but although Sheffield were in fifth place they could still be caught by Tadcaster Albion.

Sheffield, one of Brighouse boss Vill Powell’s former clubs, needed to avoid defeat to book their place. They did better than that as they came from a goal down to beat Powell’s current side.

Ramani Edmonds-Green had given Town an early lead when he slotted in a shot to convert an 18th-minute corner.

It seemed that it was not to be the visitors’ day as they failed to convert a 24th-minute penalty, Andrew Gascoigne’s effort was saved by home keeper Jordan Porter.

But just eight minutes later Sheffield were level as Marc Newsham beat Porter from open play and they snatched all three points when Luke Rawson netted in the first minute of stoppage time.

The clubs will meet again this Tuesday, April 30, in the play-off semi-final, third-placed Brighouse get home advantage due to their higher finish. The winners will play either Pontefract Collieries or Ossett United.