Farsley Celtic 0-0 Lancaster City

Ricky Mercer.

Ricky Mercer.

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Missed chances were the story of the day at Throstle Nest as somehow Phil Brown’s side left Yorkshire with just a solitary point.

In a dominating first-half display that saw the Dolly Blues play their play-off rivals off the park, this was a frustrating game that should have seen City out of sight by half-time.

The chances were not only numerous, but also golden. The attacking trio of Craig Carney, Tom Kilifin and Ryan Winder were all linking up superbly as Farsley struggled to contain the early bombardment.

Winder had the first chance in the opening minutes after good work from Carney on the right flank and a precise ball to feed the winger in on goal. Tom Taylor in the Farsley goal rushed out quickly, closed down the space and smartly saved Winder’s low shot from close range however.

Jacob Davis had a shot from distance that whistled wide of the far post, whilst veteran striker Paul Walker flashed a shot across goal and wide at the other end for the hosts.

The best two chances for the Dolly Blues came in quick succession, and both should have broken the deadlock.

Kilifin and Winder were the key players in both chances as City began to take control of the game. The former threaded a ball through the defence to play in Winder one-on-one with the winger curling a shot onto the foot of the post.

Just minutes later the roles were reversed, Kilifin had his chance to open the scoring and seemingly had the whole goal to aim at from 12 yards but with his weaker right foot his effort hit the same post, with the striker’s follow-up effort stopped by a great reaction save from Taylor.

As half-time neared there was still time for Winder to curl an effort on goal that needed the fingertips of the ‘keeper to push around the post as the half ended 0-0 to the visitors’ disbelief.

For all that was good about the first half, the second half was a none event. Scrappy, increasingly physical and with limited chances for either side.

City’s best chance came from a free-kick 20 yards out with Ricky Mercer’s well-hit effort tipped over the bar by Taylor.

Lancaster understandably began to tire as the half wore on, having played more games than any other Evo-Stik side since the turn of the year.

Farsley were fresh from a week off, whilst City were just days from their derby-winning efforts against Kendal Town and they seemed to take their toll.

The final two chances of the match fell to Celtic who almost produced the perfect smash and grab.

When substitute Leon Osborne found space at the back post it seemed as if a late winner was certain but Mercer had other ideas as his point-saving tackle blocked the shot before being cleared to safety.

Osborne almost turned provider of the winner as his low-hit cross just evaded the hosts’ midfield man Lewis Nightingale at the back post seconds before the full-time whistle ended what will be looked upon as two points dropped for Lancaster, who have now lost just one of their last 11 Evo-Stik First Division North games.

Lancaster City: Hale 8, Henry 7, Marshall 7, Mercer 9, Clark 8, Watson 8, Akrigg 7, Carney 8, Davis 7 (Shearwood 81), Winder 8, Kilifin 7 (Taylor 77). Subs not used: Gregory, Z. Clark, Cummings

Star Man: Ricky Mercer - City defender is in great form at the moment