Frickley Athletic’s good run of results came to an abrupt halt as an 88th minute goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at Stamford in the Evo-Stik Premier League.
After their excellent 5-1 success against Buxton, which had been the Blues’ biggest home league win since 2006, they travelled with confidence as they looked to make it six unbeaten and potentially close in on the play-off spots.
But they found their second from bottom opponents in stubborn form and after being unable to breach the hosts’ defence, paid the price late on when Jake Newman rose to head in at the back post following a right wing corner.
Unsurprisingly, manager Karl Rose stuck with the same side that beat Buxton, but the opening exchanges were fairly even. Paul Malone fired an angled shot well wide from close range following a left wing corner while the Blues responded with Luke Hinsley seeing his shot deflected just wide following Sam Akeroyd’s corner.
Tom Batchelor’s close range shot from another Stamford corner was straight at Sebastian Malkowski in the 15th minute, but the Blues had their first claim for a penalty turned down a few minutes later as Curtis Hartley tugged Tyler Williams’ shirt then appeared to bring him down as he cut into the box only for referee David Plowright to wave away appeals.
Akeroyd and Tom Davie combined for Davie to send over a great cross which was just inches too high for the onrushing James Walshaw.
A great run through the middle by Williams in the 34th minute saw him release Jacob Hazel whose close range lob was blocked by goalkeeper Paul Bastock.
Williams then burst into the box and again appeared to be brought down, but once more the claims were denied.
Hinsley went close again when his back header looped just over the bar before Macaulay Parkinson and Steven Jeff collided with both challenging the same player for the ball. Parkinson came off worst and had to be replaced by Brad Grayson with Davie moving to the centre of defence and Akeroyd dropped back to right-back.
The home side took advantage of the Blues being forced to reshuffle their side and forced the pace for most of the second half. Jordan Smith and Gregg Smith both had goals ruled out for offside in quick succession before the latter forced Malkowski into a smart save to block his shot.
At the other end, Grayson saw his initial shot blocked, but somehow managed to knock the ball goalwards as he fell to the ground only for Batchelor to clear off the line.
Malkowski saved well from Jordan Smith in the 82nd minute but Stamford won it six minutes later when Jake Newman met a deep corner at the far post to head past Malkowski despite Davie’s best efforts to clear off the line.
Frickley Athletic: Malkowski, Davie, Jeff, Hinsley, Cyrus, Parkinson (Grayson 45), Akeroyd, Lenighan, Hazel, Walshaw, Williams.