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Brian Caffarey - 2nd October 2007

Woking v Farsley Celtic (?Kids Go Free!?)
7.45pm on Thursday 4 October 2007

Woking?s first televised game of the season sees BSP newcomers, Farsley Celtic, travel to Kingfield. Please remember that this game is on Thursday evening. There?s also a great deal for families: children under 16 will be admitted free with a paying adult. So, bring along the kids and help create a great atmosphere!


Latest news on the Cards is that Tom Hutchinson?s Toe injury is likely to keep him out of the Farsley game. Matt Gray and Liam Marum have stepped up their training and although they won?t be fit for Thursday, they may be ready as early as next week for the York City match. Carl Gibbs has left the club this week. Having signed initially for one month, Frank Gray and Gerry Murphy have decided not to extend his deal any further. Everyone at the club wishes Carl well for the future.


I guess that there must be quite a few of us who don?t really know where Farsley is or anything about the club. The team, who are part-time, play at the delightfully-named Throstle Nest in Pudsey, on the outskirts of Leeds. The club is only six miles from Leeds United?s ground and four miles from Bradford City?s ground. The team started off as a small village team ? the club, nicknamed the Villagers, has its 100th anniversary next year ? and in recent years has had an astonishing rise up the non-League pyramid. The Celts gained promotion to the Northern League Premier Division in the 2003/04 season, were promoted again to the Conference North in the 2005/06 season and last season reached the play-offs in fifth place. They fought their way through to the play-off finals, beating Hinckley United 4-3 to claim their place in the BSP. The club is consulting on changing its name in order to attract more fans and sponsorship: suggestions include FC Leeds, FC Celtic of Leeds and Leeds Celtic. They are managed by Lee Sinott, who played for Watford in an FA Cup Final as an 18 year-old defender and who subsequently appeared for Bradford City, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and Oldham before coaching in Leeds United?s Academy. We have never played the Celts before.


There are a few familiar names in the Villagers? squad. Striker Tris Whitman has Conference experience with Scarborough, Tamworth and Crawley. Full-back Graeme Law was with York City and Tamworth, whilst striker Ryan Sugden has had spells with Halifax Town, Morecambe and Burton Albion. Midfielder Chris Billy is a recent signing from Halifax Town, having also played in the Conference with Carlisle United. Among the recruits this summer were experienced central defender Mark Jackson, signed from Rochdale but with Kidderminster Harriers among his previous clubs, and right back Scott McNiven, another ?old hand?, with over 350 League appearances to his credit. A player to watch out for is 22 year-old striker Damien Reeves, originally with Leeds United, and who was the Celts? top scorer last season with 23 goals.


It?s no great surprise that Farsley have found life quite tough in the BSP but, with three wins and three draws so far, they have done considerably better than their fellow promotees, Droylsden. The season started with a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Stafford Rangers ? greatly helped by two penalty misses by Rangers! Subsequently, Farsley notched up wins over Northwich Victoria at home and Histon away and gained draws at home to Salisbury City and Kidderminster Harriers. But they suffered heavy defeats away at Cambridge United (5-1) and Stevenage (4-0). They were unlucky, by all accounts, not to come away with at least a point from high-flying Aldershot Town, succumbing 4-3 to a late goal from John Grant. Gareth Grant, Colin Heath and Stephen Downes (penalty) were on target for the Villagers. On Saturday they drew 1-1 at home to Ebbsfleet with Stephen Downes on target from the penalty spot for the home side early in the first half, only for Stacy Long to equalise with a 30-yard strike into the top corner of the net some 11 minutes later.

Come on, you Cards!
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