Stourbridge 1, Farsley Celtic 2

STOURBRIDGE missed another chance to gain ground on the Northern Premier League play-off places with defeat against Farsley Celtic.

Luke Benbow levelled in the first half after Ben Atkinson had put the visitors ahead but Celtic soon netted what proved to be the winner just two minutes into the second period.

Benbow then missed from the penalty spot as the Glassboys lost more ground when they couldn't find a way back.

The hosts had enjoyed more of the ball in the opening exchanges without troubling visiting stopper Graeme McKibbin.

Instead it was Farsley that had the first effort at goal when Nathan Turner worked Harry Beasley from range. The clash remained a midfield battle for large spells but finally burst to life approaching the 20 minute mark.

It was the visitors that took the lead on 19 minutes when Ben Atkinson fired home from just inside the area after Leon Broadhurst surrendered possession.

However, it took the Glassboys just a minute to find a reply when Luke Benbow's deflected effort from 15 yards out found the far corner.

The hosts remained on top after bagging the leveller and McKibbin was needed to keep them from going ahead when he saved with his feet after Benbow had been played in by Chris Lait on 28 minutes.

Celtic still engineered a few chances of their own, notably a powerful drive from goalscorer Atkinson was well blocked by Aris Christophorou just before the 40 minute mark.

Stour kept the pressure on with a couple of late corners but the contest remained level at the break.

The home side again found themselves trailing once again just two minutes into the second period.

Nathan Cartman's header was well tipped onto the post by Beasley but Isaac Baldwin was on hand to tap home after the ball had bounced along the goal line.

But, just like in the first half, the Glassboys were quickly back on the front foot and were handed a big opportunity to level for the second time when Luke Shearer was brought down after a mazy run into the Celtic box.

However, Benbow saw his 52 minute penalty pushed away by McKibbin as the chance went begging. Broadhurst was then denied from close range from the resulting corner.

Cartman passed up a good opening on the break for Farsley when he lifted an effort onto the roof of the net on 68 minutes as the clash remained well balanced.

Stour continued to work hard but just couldn't find a way to trouble McKibbin heading into the final 20 minutes.

Pierpoint did rifle home in the 80th minute but saw his celebration halted as the ref blew for a free-kick on McKibbin as he came to punch the ball clear.

Leon Broadhurst had one last late effort saved by McKibbin two minutes from time as Celtic dug in.

Lait fired over the bar in injury time and then shot straight at the keeper as the home side were left frustrated.

Stourbridge: Beasley, Christophorou (Antonio 81), Westlake, McCone (c), Pierpoint, Shearer, Tonks, Broadhurst, Benbow, Anderson (Lait 69), Gater.

Unused subs: Hall, Cooke, Evans.

Farsley: McKibbin, Harris, Turner, C. Atkinson, Wells, Clayton (c), B. Atkinson, Turner, Walker, Cartman (Parkin 89), Baldwin (Watson 66).

Unused subs: Murray, Bett, Trenerry.

Att: 402