Frickley Athletic have made an encouraging start to the new season with a victory and a draw in their first two warm-up matches.
Karl Rose’s men followed up a midweek 1-0 win over a Barnsley FC Development Squad side with a 1-1 draw against Wembley winners last season FC Halifax Town with both games taking place at Frickley’s ground.
Both games proved good initial workouts for the Blues as they build towards the start of the new Evo-Stik Premier League campaign next month.
In the first of the pre-season games Frickley were up against a mix and match Barnsley side that included a couple of new signings who could feature in the first team in the forthcoming Championship campaign.
In front of a good attendance of 398, Frickley started the brighter and showed their intent early when Luke Hinsley hit a shot over. Tom Davie then had a shot blocked and Nathan Curtis went close with another shot moments after.
Barnsley managed their first effort of note in the 20th minute, but Seb Malkowski saved from Elliot Kebbie.
The Blues defence coped well with their opponents and new signing from Sheffield FC John Lufudu impressed down the right side in a first half that ended with Frickley ahead courtesy of a great shot from Hinsley when he collected the ball from a fluffed clearance by the Barnsley keeper to score from more than 30 yards out.
Half-time substitute Tyler Williams had an impact after the break and Greg Pearson went close with a glancing header from Macauley Parkinson’s inviting cross.
Both sides made wholesale changes with the managers eager to get a look at as many players as possible and Jake Ellam made a welcome return to the Frickley side after being carried off in the Sheffield Senior Cup semi-final at Hallam.
Barnsley had one good chance when Harris’s shot was well saved by Malkowski.
Frickley: Malkowski, Parkinson, Davie, Hinsley, Pearson, Meynell, Akeroyd, Gooda, Stewart, Curtis, Lufudu. Subs: Williams, Mbeka, Grant, Valentine, Guest, Grayson, Ellam, Leigh.
Frickley’s second game saw them given a stiffer test by visitors Halifax, who created several chances in the opening half and went ahead through Jordan Burrow.
Malkowski made saves from Jordan Burrow, Liam King and Matty Kosylo and the Blues hung in before creating some chances in the second half. Williams and Curtis went closest before they equalised with an effort from the half-way line by Pearson that was misjudged by keeper Steve Drench, who saw the ball go over him into an empty net.
Bailey Gooda then almost came up with a winner with the last kick of the game, but Drench’s fingertips kept out his terrific free-kick.
Frickley: Malkowski, Akeroyd, Ellam, Hinsley, Pearson, Meynell, Hands, Gooda, Harris, Curtis, Williams. Subs: Stewart, Guest, Grant, Valentine, Parkinson, Lufudu.