South’s goals give Frickley lift-off

Goal hero: Danny South
Goal hero: Danny South

Frickley Athletic have shot up the Evo-Stik Premier League table after two wins in three days have lifted them up to 12th place.

Following a tremendous fight back that brought them a 4-2 victory at home to Ramsbottom United on Saturday Karl Rose’s men came up with their first away win of the season on Tuesday night when they came from behind again to beat Witton Albion 2-1 thanks to a late Danny South strike.

With Gavin Allott, Jake Stannard, Lee Stratford and Luke Hornsey all missing through injury manager Karl Rose brought in Kyle Harrison at right-back, while Luke Jeffs came in to start at right-back and Ryan Williams replaced Brad Riley in midfield. Up front Joel Barnett took the place of Allott.

The game started in persistent drizzle with the rain helping the home sides passing on a slick surface. In the seventh minute Joel Barnett was dispossessed in the Witton half and the home side broke quickly with the ball ending up with Danny Alexander on the right. He cut inside Jeffs on his left foot and curled a lovely finish past Ben Simpson into the bottom right hand corner.

The Blues were level shortly after when on 14 minutes Joel Barnett was clattered inside the box. In the absence of regular penalty taker Allott, Barnett picked himself up to take the spot kick. Ryan Swift guessed the right way to block the shot but the ball spun backwards to go over the line for a Frickley equaliser.

Barnett was unlucky not to earn another spot kick soon after when he cleverly dinked the ball over a defender only to be flattened by another.

The game, although lacking in quality was end to end at this point with the home side missing a number of chances.

The Blues started the second half brightly with some quick breaks from midfield, but they lacked the final ball when it mattered. The home side then got on top although both sides were guilty of giving the ball away regularly and struggled to put any passes together.

The home side were a threat out wide as the Blues struggled to clear their lines and were pushed deeper. The introduction of Brad Riley for Sanchez Payne helped the Blues retain the ball at little better, but they were restricted to breakaways one of which saw Barnett’s cross come off the face of the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.

In the last minute, just as it looked as though the Blues had earned a point a punt up field saw South collect the ball with his back to goal some 30 yards out. He turned on a sixpence to hook a dipping volley over the home keeper and just inside the angle of post and crossbar.

In truth the quality of the goal was not in keeping with a scruffy game of football, but few Blues fans will be complaining about that. A win is a win however it arrives.

Frickley achieved their third league win of the season on Saturday as they produced a tremendous second half comeback to beat top six side Ramsbottom United 4-2 at Westfield Lane.

The Blues looked set for a home defeat as they trailed 2-0 at half-time with Jon Robinson putting Ramsbottom ahead from the penalty spot and Nelson Mota doubling the lead on 39 minutes.

But the comeback began as South netted 12 minutes into the second period. South was then on target again to square the game up on 70 minutes before John Cyrus put Athletic in front three minutes later.

The Blues stayed on the offensive and their second half effort was complete nine minutes from time when South struck again to complete his first hat-trick for the club and to give Frickley a valuable three points that lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Frickley have added to his squad with the signing of winger Simon Harrison from Belper Town.

Harrison originally joined the Nailers on loan from Harrogate Town in August 2010 and then rejoined the club in 2012 from Goole AFC.

He is a versatile player comfortable on the right wing or in centre midfield and has a healthy goal scoring record.

A product of Rotherham United’s Centre of Excellence, which he joined as a 10-year-old, He rose up through the ranks to become a regular for Rotherham’s reserves, but after failing for force his way into the first team he moved into non-league initially with Matlock Town before switching to Ilkeston Town then Harrogate Town. He left Belper after a brief stay to sign for Retford United before linking up with Goole and playing under Blues boss Rose at the Vikings.

This Saturday Frickley are back at home when they entertain Stamford in another league game, kick-off 3pm. They are also in the Sheffield Senior Cup away to AFC Emley, next Tuesday, 7.45pm.