Farsley Celtic are still seeking their inaugural home victory of the season after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Darlington.
The Celts fell behind 0-2, and although Conor Branson managed to pull one back late in the game, they were unable to find an equaliser and had to play the last 20 minutes with ten men.
The first half started energetically, but neither team managed to create any clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.
At the half-hour mark, Jacob Hazel had the first shot of the game as he found himself through on goal, but Farsley’s goalkeeper, Zan-Luk Leban, did well to tip his low strike around the post.
The bottom-placed team, Darlington, took the lead just two minutes later, capitalising on a swift counter-attack. Hazel found space down the right-hand side before passing the ball to Cameron Salkeld, who confidently slotted it past Leban.
Farsley tested Tommy Taylor, Darlington’s goalkeeper, for the first time just before half-time when George Smith struck the ball with power, but it was at Taylor’s near post and was tipped behind for a corner.
The visitors extended their lead within five minutes of the second half. Will Hatfield’s free kick from distance ended up hitting the back of the net after bouncing off the post.
Darlington came close to adding a third, but Salkeld was denied from close range by Leban, who positioned himself well. The ball then fell to Kallum Griffiths for a volley, but he sent his effort wide.
The Celts came agonisingly close to pulling a goal back when Tom Allan’s flick from a corner was met by loanee striker Dylan Youmbi, but he was thwarted by the crossbar.
Farsley’s hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a blow when Connor O’Brien was shown a red card for a second bookable offence with around twenty minutes remaining.
However, Farsley continued to fight on and managed to pull a goal back with just over ten minutes to play. Substitute Ryan Watson’s free kick delivery was exceptional in its pace, and Conor Branson did well to use the momentum of the ball to guide it into the bottom corner with a well-placed header, restoring some hope.
The drama continued shortly after when substitute James Simms rounded Leban, but his shot was cleared off the line by Allan, who had anticipated the danger.