Gavin Allott was on target again as Frickley Athletic came from behind to earn a well deserved point from a home game against Buxton in the Evo-Stik Premier League on Tuesday night.
Buxton arrived at Westfield Lane in third place and made a confident start when Liam Hardy put them ahead after only two minutes despite calls for offside as he bundled a deep free-kick home.
But they could not build on their flying start as the Blues dug in and kept the game to 1-0 at half-time.
The rest of the half was played mainly outside of the area, with neither team able to get a prolonged amount of time on the ball due to high winds and poor play. Danny South was inches away from a header from Luke Hinsley’s cross, but visiting keeper Arron Jameson just managed to clear before the big number nine could pounce.
Both sides were forced into first half substitutions, with Jameel Ible limping off to be replaced by Luke Jeffs, while Buxton’s Alastair Taylor hobbled away.
South had a more clear cut chance later on, but headed a corner over, while the impressive Luke Hinsley blazed a volley over after a neat lay off from Allott.
It was Frickley’s turn to make a big opening to the second half with Allott netting his tenth goal of the season after just two minutes. He had already fired at the keeper in the opening seconds of the second half, but he went one better soon after with a chip over the keeper after being released by Brad Riley’s clever through ball.
From then on Frickley were largely the better team, Riley almost cutting a ball into the path of Allott, while he this time turned provider for Matty Young, who hit over under pressure.
Then came the game’s best effort. A long heave upfield drew out Jameson, and he misjudged the bounce of the ball, allowing Allott to round him and bare down on goal. But just as it looked like the home side were to take the lead, Ash Palmer’s superb last ditch block denied the Blues’ hitman’s left foot shot.
Palmer performed more heroics later on as he blocked another one of Frickley’s top scorers efforts and Buxton nearly nicked it through headers from Greg Young and Hardy.
But the Blues held their own against one of the best sides in the division and could be pleased with the final 1-1 result that keeps them in 15th place.
Frickley were back to winning ways after two defeats in the Evo-Stik Premier League on Saturday when they overcame bottom of the table Belper Town 2-0.
The Blues put the disappointment of their unlucky defeat to leaders Skelmersdale United the previous week behind them with a solid display in which they could have won by a bigger margin.
With Karl Rose’s men going into the game just six points above Belper they knew the importance of a victory and were quick to get in their stride with winger Riley having the first chance as he cut in from the left to send a cross-come-shot narrowly over.
Striker Allott had a penalty appeal waved away after his shirt appeared to be held while getting a shot away and although they pushed forward Frickley had to wait until first half stoppage time for their first goal.
Allott got on the end of a long clearance and used his strength to hold off defender Chris Jones before slotting the ball beyond keeper Scott Low.
The second half produced a number of chances for both sides, with neither team able to capitalise. Allott continued to cause problems and was only denied further goals by Low as the Belper custodian made a number of saves.
Chris Jones came closest to an equaliser as his connection at the near post following a corner was grasped by home keeper Ben Simpson.
The Blues almost doubled their lead 20 minutes from time as Max Leonard fired just wide after Riley had burst clear down the right and played the ball across to Hinsley.
But they did make sure of their victory 10 minutes later when Richard Adams was deemed to have fouled Allott inside the area and Allott stepped up to put a fine spot kick into the bottom right corner of the net.
Frickley are on their travels for two league games in the next week as they play at 14th-placed Stourbridge this Saturday (kick-off 3pm) then go to fifth from bottom Matlock Town next Tuesday (7.45pm).
Frickley have been drawn out at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels in the third round of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup with the tie set to take place at Westfield Lane on Tuesday, November 4, kick-off 7.45pm.
The league game against Kings Lynn Town, scheduled for the same night, will be rearranged.