Frickley Athletic relishing clash with FC United of Manchester

WELCOME RETURN: Danny Walsh has returned to Frickley Athletic from Ossett Town and could feature in tonight's clash with FC United of Manchester
WELCOME RETURN: Danny Walsh has returned to Frickley Athletic from Ossett Town and could feature in tonight's clash with FC United of Manchester

Frickley Athletic manager Karl Rose is relishing tonight’s visit of Evo-Stik Premier Division promotion hopefuls FC United of Manchester (kick-off 7.45pm).

A bumper crowd is expected at Westfield Lane, with United enjoying a good backing on the road, and that, coupled with Karl Marginson’s men riding high in the league, could be a daunting prospect for a side looking over their shoulder at the relegation spots.

The Blues have enjoyed their season on home soil so far, however, losing just three times in the league all season, winning eight and drawing their remaining three.

It is form that has kept Rose’s side out of the relegation zone - Frickley have picked up just one point on their travels - and form that saw second-placed Hednesford Town leave South Elmsall pointless before Christmas.

Only one side has left Westfield Lane victorious in their last 12 home matches in all competitions, leaders North Ferriby United.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Rose.

“You play and manager in football to test yourselves against the best and we’ll have that test against them.

“We’re looking forward to it because we know we’re a match for anyone at home on our day, you only need to look at our performance against teams like Hendesford, who we beat, and North Ferriby, who were extremely unlucky against.

“We’ll be sticking to our usual game plan. It’s eleven against eleven over 90 minutes and we know we have every chance to win, they’ll be plenty of fire in our belly.”

The Blues will be without top-scorer Gavin Allott through a groin injury, but Frickley have good back-up with other striking options Liam Hardy, Chris Wood and Luke Hinsley all finding the back of the net in recent matches.

Gareth Clayton will also be absent through injury but Joe Wilcox could have recovered from an illness that kept him out of the 3-3 draw at Stafford Rangers on Saturday.

Rose could also throw the returning Danny Walsh straight into the mix after the midfieler rejoined the club from Ossett Town.

Walsh spent six seasons at Frickley and amassed 270 appearances for the club, making his return to South Elmsall a welcome one.

United go into the game on the back of a six-game winning run that sees them fourth in the table and with eyes firmly on promotion this season.