'Champions' prepare for play-off final after Whitby victory

Farsley Celtic 1 Whitby Town 0 UniBond League Play-off

Steven Penny at Throstle Nest

FEW celebrations, just plain relief marked Farsley Celtic’s progress to the final of a competition they insist they should not be a part of.

An extra-time goal from German midfielder Roy Stamer set up Farsley for a meeting of the ‘champions’ tomorrow when Lee Sinnott’s side travel to Workington in the final of the UniBond League play-offs.

The demise of Spennymoor United has thrown the league into chaos. Farsley, who were crowned champions two weeks ago after the Durham side’s 33 results were expunged, now meet a Cumbrian outfit who had been top of the table until losing the six points they had gained against Spennymoor.

But the Football Association overruled the league’s decision and, bizarrely insisted three points should be awarded to all those sides who had not played Spennymoor; elevating Hyde United into top spot.

Farsley lost their High Court appeal but the club pledged on Friday that, should they not go up via the play-offs, they will sue the FA and UniBond League for the loss of earnings a promotion place would have brought. But it may not come to that if Farsley can gain their ‘rightful’ place in the Conference North by winning tomorrow.

A tightly-contested, often dour encounter between Yorkshire rivals was decided in the final minute of first-half stoppage time in extra time. Two Whitby defenders failed to deal with a bouncing ball in their penalty area and Mark Bett nipped in to steal it. He pulled the ball back across goal towards substitute Rodney Rowe but he failed to get a decisive touch and instead it fell kindly to Leeds University student Stamer to fire in.

Farsley manager Lee Sinnott said: “The two-week break made things hard for us but Roy came up with the winner again.

“He did it against Bishop Auckland to win us the title the first time but this time the win was all about relief than euphoria.”

Whitby had looked odds on to win the league, and avoid any confusion over its destiny, until faltering under the pressure of an incredible backlog of fixtures but manager Dave Logan refused to offer excuses.

“The extra week we’ve had to wait made no difference,” he said. “We knew all along we were in the play-offs, the only unknown thing was our opponents. We knew we would have to win twice in someone else’s back yard to go up but we’ve fallen at the first step.

“We had plenty of chances but I always thought one goal would win it and, unfortunately, it wasn’t for us. Good luck to Farsley.”


Farsley Celtic: Cuss; McDaid, Dyson, Stabb, Serrant; Knowles (Haworth 90), Duxbury, Shields, Stamer (Walton 114); Bernard (Rowe 90), Bett.

Whitby Town: Campbell; Atkinson, Farthing, Williams, Veart; McTiernan (Ormerod 27), Nicholson, A Gildea (Linighan 111), Richards (Wells half-time); Johnson, L Gildea.

Referee: B Tattan (Liverpool).

Farsley man of the match: Lee Duxbury.

Whitby man of the match: Danny Farthing.