WITTON Albion expected this run of matches to be testing.

So far they’ve been cruel.

To have no reward for this performance is unfair, and Nathan Cartman’s decisive goal with three minutes left was a bounty Farsley Celtic didn’t deserve.

However they did come from behind twice to extend a winning run in the Northern Premier League to eight matches.

Carl Macauley’s men, shorn of River Humphreys due to illness and Jordan Lussey who has a cast on his hand after sustaining an injury on Boxing Day, were resilient too.

They were also better to begin with.

Matty Devine’s adventure almost ended with an opening goal when he raced onto goalkeeper Greg Hall’s punt but he couldn’t control his shot.

The visitors, subdued and sloppy, gifted to Will Jones an opportunity when Jack Higgins passed the ball straight to the front man.

His drive was struck low but custodian Kyle Trenerry reacted smartly to steer it around an upright.

Witton edged in front after they punished more untidy work by their guests, this time after Trenerry threw the ball towards Adam Clayton.

Anticipating the defender’s discomfort, Tom Owens pinched possession and then lifted the cutest of finishes over the goalkeeper.

It jolted Farsley, and Hall was alert to parry a jabbed effort from Higgins after Will Booth had kicked fresh air attempting to clear Isaac Baldwin’s curling free-kick.

The former 1874 Northwich net-minder then shovelled Luke Parkin’s effort to safety.

A leveller arrived on 42 minutes when Higgins, left unmarked, stretched to redirect Parkin’s cross into the net from close-range.

The West Yorkshire outfit threatened first after the interval too when Dave Syers prompted Hall to block after the goalkeeper had only part-cleared Parkin’s set-piece.

Witton, who had lined up with Rob Hopley at the heart of a three-man back-line to carry out marshalling duties usually left to Humphreys, remained sturdy.

They established an advantage again when Jones tamed Devine’s perfectly-weighted pass with a touch that set him on a course towards goal before Trenerry tripped him.

James Foley converted from the penalty spot for a third successive match.

Farsley needed only 60 seconds to restore parity, Syers dispatching a dipping shot into the corner after reaching first a loose ball 20 yards from goal.

There was ebb and flow for the game’s remainder, although Albion created better chances.

Trenerry gave a reminder of his class when he tipped over Billy Smart’s effort before instinctively putting a boot in the way of Jones’ drive after Owens’ pass had cut open Farsley’s defence.

In between, Parkin’s curling effort flashed wide.

Adam Lakeland instructed skipper Danny Ellis, a defender, to play as a striker in an effort to unsettle Witton.

Instead Baldwin, Albion’s tormentor during last season’s corresponding fixture when he helped himself to a hat-trick, did exactly that.

He surged past James Yates on the left before cutting back for Paul Walker, who rolled a pass to Cartman that the striker swept out of Hall’s reach.

Witton | 3-5-1-1 | Hall (GK), Gardner, Hopley, Wardle, Yates (Cobley 89), Smart (McKenna 90), Booth, Foley, Devine, Owens, Jones Sub not used Brewster Goals Owens 32, Foley 66 (penalty) Booked Devine (foul)

Farsley | 3-4-3 | Trenerry (GK), Clayton, Ellis, Higgins, Ben Atkinson, Syers, Chris Atkinson (Britton 84), Baldwin, Parkin, Cartman, Walker Subs not used Chan, Bett, Hill, Mitchell Goals Higgins 42, Syers 67, Cartman 87 Booked Parkin (foul)

Referee Dale Baines

Attendance 325