FARSLEY Celtic took the step up into the Vanarama National North in their stride with a 3-1 victory over former Football League club Darlington on the opening day of the new season.

The Quakers began on the front foot and pressed the Celts in the opening stages but Adam Lakeland’s side settled into the game and racked up a commanding lead before half-time.

One of Farsley’s four summer signings, Tyler Walton, broke the deadlock when he let fly from the edge of the area in the tenth minute, finding the top corner.

Darlington had former Guiseley man Will Hatfield in the centre of their midfield but Farsley had ex-Quaker Nathan Cartman up front and he doubled the Celts’ lead, walking the ball around keeper Chris Elliott after Will Hayhurst’s lay off.

Hayhurst claimed the assist for the third as his 35th minute corner was allowed to bounce in the area and Jimmy Spencer was lurking at the back post to rifle it home on the half-volley.

Darlo came out for the second half in aggressive mood. Hatfield and his central midfield partner Omar Holness both picked up yellow cards.

They reined their aggression in and were better for it. Around the hour mark a sustained spell of pressure had the Celts pinned back and the Quakers’ Adam Campbell fired a shot from the edge of the area into the top corner from distance.

Lakeland said: “We played well in that first half and I thought we were good value for our three-goal lead.

“It would have been nice to have kept a clean sheet but it has taken a spectacular 20 yard strike to beat us. There are a lot of positives that we can take from the game and the way we defended is one of them – yes, they scored but they didn’t do it by carving us open.

“It’s a fantastic start to the new season but we have to put it behind us now and focus on Tuesday.” The Celts make the short journey into North Yorkshire to take on York City.

Meanwhile, Silsden won their first ever game in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division thanks to a 2-1 victory at last season’s runners-up Penistone Church.

Danny Forrest’s men were two goals up, Khurram Shazad and Aidan Kirby on target, before the hosts netted through Brett Lovell in the last minute.

Lee Elam had to settle for a point from his first game as Eccleshill United boss. The Eagles led at home against Staveley MW but the visitors hit back late in the first half. Nathan Woodward scored the opener while Michael Burke scored for the visitors.

Thackley and Liversedge both drew away from home. Thackley took the lead three times at Bridlington Town in a 3-3 stalemate, while Sedge were two goals up at Maltby before the hosts came back to draw 2-2.

There was no dream start for John Francis as Albion Sports manager as the Lions went down 3-2 at Bottesford Town despite a spirited late fightback.

Campion have one point on the board after a 1-1 draw at Harrogate Railway in Division One while Steeton got off to a winning start in the North West Counties Division One North, the Chevrons gaining a 2-1 victory at AFC Blackpool.