Blues gear up for FC United of Manchester test

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FRICKLEY Athletic boss Peter Rinkcavage will be hoping his Blues side can take inspiration from what’s set to be a bumper crowd at the Tech5 Stadium for the visit of FC United of Manchester on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

The Blues are expecting one of, if not the, biggest crowds of the season in South Elmsall as the Manchester club, backed by their traditionally large following, visit.

Rinkcavage insisted his players “shouldn’t be involved in football” if they couldn’t get up for a game in front of a big crowd at FC Halifax Town last weekend - a game which fell victim of a frozen pitch.

And he’ll be hoping a big gate at Westfield Lane will help steer the Blues to a much-needed three points rather than hinder them.

Frickley sit third-from-bottom in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and will be keen to get points on the board sooner rather than later to avoid an end-of-season relegation battle.

Rinkcavage’s reign started well but the Blues have slumped to four defeats from five games since the turn of the year.

The latest setback came in the League Cup third round on Tuesday night when Division 1 North side Durham City dumped them out of the competition thanks to a 2-0 victory.

Amar Purewal and David Dowson netted the second-half goals to put Durham into the next round to earn a home tie against Bradford Park Avenue.

One plus point to come from the match was the long-awaited return from a broken leg for winger Andy Catton, who made his first start under Rinkcavage.

The Blues’ priority is with the league though, and there’s no better time to kick-start a surge up the table than three points against one of the league’s bigger sides.

Karl Marginson’s men were tipped for promotion this season but impressive runs in cup competitions, in particular the FA Cup where they reached the second round, have made for indifferent form in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Blues fans can expect to see a winner on Saturday, with United the only side to have not drawn a game this season.

They sit mid-table thanks to ten wins and 11 defeats from 21 games so far this season.

But with their priority back on moving up the league, United will be a tough nut to crack for Rinckavage and his men this weekend.

The clash will be the first of two home matches for the Blues in four days, with Whitby Town the opposition at Westfield Lane on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the sports news from around the area.