Frickley Athletic felt hard done by as they suffered a narrow defeat to title chasing Ilkeston Town in the Evo-Stik Premier League on Saturday.
Despite being the better side for much of the contest and continuing the good work of the previous week, Karl Rose’s men went down 1-0 to opponents who climbed to second place with this result.
They felt further aggrieved to finish with 10 men as Jameel Ible was harshly sent-off in injury time and will now add to the Blues’ selection problems when banned for a game.
Manager Rose stuck with the same side that drew at Blyth Spartans in midweek, although Ible, Luke Jeffs and Ben Simpson all returned to the squad and were on the bench. Jake Stannard and Gavin Allott were still absent through illness and Matt Young was unavailable.
The only goal of the game came in the third minute as the home side took the lead with their first effort when James Reid was left in space on the left of the box to fire in an angled shot which went in off the far post.
Ilkeston threatened to overwhelm their visitors early on, but slowly Frickley weathered the storm and started to stamp their authority on the game with a couple of corners in quick succession testing goalkeeper Jordan Smith.
Sam Leigh was off his line quickly to deny Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson as Ilkeston showed their pace on the break, but at the other end James Kay went agonisingly close on 32 minutes when his 20 yard free-kick sailed just wide after Sanchez Payne had been brought down.
Luke Hinsley saw his downward header collected by Smith following a good cross from Macaulay Parkinson.
The Blues continued to enjoy most of the pressure in the second half although the hosts were dangerous on the break.
Matt Bloor met a cross from Brad Riley in the 58th minute only for his effort to be deflected wide. Leigh smothered Fortnam-Tomlinson’s shot after an Ilkeston break, but Frickley were soon on the attack again with Reece Thompson shooting just over and narrowly failing to connect with a great cross by Kay. Parkinson tried his luck with a thunderous 25-yard shot that clipped the top of the crossbar before another quick Ilkeston break saw Eddy Samba head wide.
Kay saw his 25-yard free-kick just clear the bar in the 84th minute and a minute later Ible replaced Payne with Broadhead moving up front.
Hinsley headed on for Thompson but he scuffed his shot into the arms of Smith. In the second minute of stoppage time Ible tangled with Jake Wright and the referee awarded a free-kick while harshly judging that Ible had denied a goal-scoring opportunity so was shown a red card.
Frickley: Leigh, Parkinson, Kay, Hornsey, Cyrus, Broadhead, Riley, Bloor, Thompson, Hinsley, Payne (Ible 85).