Tom Allan’s early header hit the crossbar just three minutes into the game, setting the tone for an exciting first half with opportunities for both teams to break the deadlock. However, the words of encouragement from Farsley’s new manager, Clayton Donaldson, seemed to motivate the Celt Army. As a result, Ben Atkinson scored the opening goal early in the second half, and later, Darren Stephenson secured the win in stoppage time.
After Allan’s near miss, Rushall responded with some dangerous attacks. Farsley’s goalkeeper, Jan-Luk Leban, who was on loan, made an impressive double-save, denying Callum Coyle and Samuel Mantom.
Farsley also had their moments in the first half, with Ben Atkinson delivering a well-placed pass to Marley Blair, whose shot was tipped wide by Jake Weaver, Rushall’s goalkeeper.
Leban displayed his skills again, making a remarkable save on Jake Gosling’s close-range shot, tipping it over the bar on the 27th minute.
The Celt Army came close to scoring on the half-hour mark, but Allan’s effort from a corner was denied, and Connor Branson fired his follow-up shot over the bar.
The second half saw Farsley’s renewed determination, and just nine minutes in, they broke the deadlock. Mason Wilson’s precise delivery found Ben Atkinson, who confidently scored his first goal since his return to The Citadel.
Atkinson remained lively and had two more opportunities to extend the lead. His cross-shot was saved by Weaver, and later, he headed George Smith’s cross over the bar.
Although Rushall tried to stage a comeback, Farsley’s defence held firm and their goal was never seriously threatened in the closing stages of the game.
In stoppage time, Darren Stephenson sealed the victory with a well-placed header that eluded Weaver’s grasp and crossed the line, securing all three points for Farsley on the opening day of the season.