Blues come through FC United of Manchester test

FC United 0 Frickley Athletic 0 FRICKLEY Athletic bounced back from their weekend thrashing at North Ferriby with a share of the spoils at relegation rivals FC United of Manchester last night.

It could have been more for the Blues after the hosts, backed by a support of almost 1,500 inside Gigg Lane, were reduced to ten men in the first half.

But Frickley boss Billy Heath will have been pleased that his men collected their first point of the new year in what he described as a "tough test" before the game.

It also moved the Blues up to 17th and above Matlock Town in the UniBond Premier Division.

Heath introduced 19-year-old defender Charlie Fisher into the Blues defence after signing the youngster on a one-month loan deal from Doncaster Rovers.

Skipper Steve Heath also returned after serving a one-match suspension.

And the visiting defence had to be on their toes in the early exchanges as United looked for an early goal.

Duane Grace was well positioned to divert a Jerome Wright effort over the bar.

Frickley, too, looked dangerous and Danny Walsh came close with a 25-yard drive that was cleared to safety.

The main talking point came on 20 minutes when Adriano Rigogliosio was sent off for the hosts for a crunching tackle on Jonathan Groome.

Groome was forced off through injury and Matty Bloor came on to replace him.

Frickley looked to take advantage of their extra man and came close through Neil Towler and Phil Lindley as chances came at both ends before half-time.

And the goal opportunities continued in the second half, this time Danny Clarke and Chris White coming close for the visitors.

But the hosts could have snatched all the points late on when Wright's deflected effort forced Blues stopper Adam Nicklin into a fine save.

FC United: Ashton, Jacobs (Chadwick 90min), Quistin, Cotterill, Tong, Nugent, Rigogliosis, Carden, Wilson (Yoffe 81min), Wright, Marsh ( Deegan 70min). Subs not used: Holden, Roca.

Frickley: Nicklin, Fisher, Grace, Walsh, Heath, Lindley (Jones 59min), Clarke, Groome (Bloor 22min), Morris (Palmer 83min), Towler, White. Subs not used: Pierrepont, Moody.

See today's Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest news, match reports and previews from Frickley Athletic.