Match report: U23s’ four-goal second half converts possession into victory

Muhammet Gashi’s first Farsley goal was one of four in the second half as the U23s beat Ilkley Town AFC on Monday night.

Moussa Sidibe powered into the far top corner from outside the box in a solo effort while Ayrton Stewart-Savery benefited from a clearance that rebounded off the forward’s knee and over the ‘keeper.

Asa Mitchell assisted Wilfred Frimpong winning and scoring a penalty for his first U23s goal on the former’s first substitute appearance during pre-season, returning from injury.

Fialdini’s header cleared off the line was the closest Farsley got in the first-half despite dominating possession at Ilkley’s Ben Rhydding Sports Club.

Farsley dominated possession with Duncan Dike added in the central of midfield alongside the ever-present Keanan Mannings and Mitchell Fox and the latter found Dike to his right on 10 minutes. The recipient put Stewart-Savery in-behind Ilkley’s defence down the right of the box but his shot across goal was blocked round the post.

Mannings flicked Fox’s corner goalwards from the near post, straight to Fialdini behind him but from close range, the forward couldn’t find a corner, heading straight at the ‘keeper who did enough to parry it into a defender who cleared off the line.

Mannings, deepest in the centre of midfield, continued to have time on the ball and on 12 minutes he played a one-two with Stewart-Savery before poking the ball over the defence, ahead of Fares, but the forward’s touch was heavy allowing the ‘keeper to gather.

Ilkley were then restricted to counter attacks and pace and one-on-one with Kadeem Morton the home side escaped the full-back and ran into the box shooting to the near post but the ball was tipped round the post by Rhys Toft.

Mannings’ long-passing benefitted from the space Ilkley were giving Farsley in deep areas and the captain, from inside his own half, found Fialdini running in-behind the defence. The forward controlled before lacing a shot from the edge of the box but it was straight at the ‘keeper who parried round the near post.

Mannings again met Fox’s delivery but headed wide.

Jacob Smith intercepted and stepped out of defence, allowed into Ilkley’s half before passing into the path of Stewart-Savery on 18 minutes. Cutting inside, the forward curled a shot round the right of the ‘keeper but also the far post.

Mitchell Fox wasn’t given time outside his own box and was intercepted on 28 minutes, the attacker with space to shoot but its blocked with the ball falling to another forward. They twice chip the ball up and away from Farsley challenges but can’t find space for the shot before the ball is cleared.

The post denied Ilkley the opener after a drag back on the edge of Farsley’s box allowed space to curl left-footed to the right post but it was parried by Toft on 32 minutes. The ball rebounded to a second Ilkley forward who placed to the far left post to be denied by the framework before Adam Maywand cleared.

Farsley recovered possession before half-time, Fox passing ahead of Fialdini beside the box and his cross across goal was ahead of Stewart-Savery but not Dike at the far right post although he’s stretching and can’t connect cleanly.

Smith utilised the time on the ball by finding Kadeem Morton who was one-on-one on the right on 50 minutes. He cut inside, beating his defender before switching play to Fares Djermoune on the left of the box. He also cut inside to curl his shot towards the far post but it was parried.

The opening goal instead came from a clearance rebounding off Stewart-Savery and over the ‘keeper on 55 minutes.

The Ilkley defender, without too much pressure, attempted to clear from his own box, finding the knee of unmoved Stewart-Savery with the ball looping over the ‘keeper and inside the right post.

Mannings looked for Fialdini this time who went close again two minutes later but the forward ran over the ball, fooling the defender and leaving the forward one-on-one inside the box. Shooting at the near left post, the shots blocked by the ‘keeper’s legs.

The post then denied Majed Alastal on 61 minutes after Fox initially was one-on-one in the box and stretching to poke the ball at the ‘keeper who parried only to Alastal to the left who’s first-time placed effort rebounded off the framework.

The retreating Farsley defence from another fast attack from Ilkley a minute later created space in front of the Celts’ defence, on the edge of the box for a shot ending wide of the left post.

Sidibe made no mistake by scoring from outside the area with a shot too powerful for the ‘keeper on 64 minutes.

Held up on the left by the opposing full-back, Sidibe’s acceleration while pushing the ball onto his right foot created enough space to shoot from the corner of the box and the ball was over the ‘keeper before he could react, inside the far post.

Farsley scored a second in two minutes with Gashi’s first for Farsley.

The midfielder placed the ball from inside the box, past the right of the ‘keeper despite a hand from the stopper.

Ball was in net a third time inside ten minutes before the referee blew for offside.

Frimpong passed central to Sidibe on the edge of the box who’s shot deflected into the box and was converted before the shot was deemed in an offside position.

Frimpong’s first U23s goal followed from the spot shortly after on 76 minutes.

Asa Mitchell’s received the ball on his chest outside his own box and before the ball had touched the floor, volleyed it inches over the defender’s head and onto Frimpongs on the right. His touch knocked the ball across and away from the defender, one-one-one with the ‘keeper before rounding him inside the box but being caught doing so.

Frimpong’s penalty was straight down the middle, saved by the ‘keeper’s legs but as the ‘keeper went left, Frimpong was first to the rebound, choosing inside the right of the goal on his second attempt.

A quick one-two in central midfield continued the trend of Ilkley’s attacks, passing the forward in-behind the Farsley defence on 80 minutes. The forward only had Toft to beat to add Ilkley’s first goal before full-time and he placed to the right of Toft but also wide of the far post.

The U23s’ season is expected to start in the next couple of weeks while Neil Ross says depending on that start date then there may be another friendly before.