Goals from Luke Hinsley and Korey Dyer-Stewart helped Frickley Athletic to a 2-0 victory over Stafford Rangers at Westfield Lane on Saturday.
Hinsley took five minutes to fire the Blues ahead but Dyer-Stewart had to wait until three minutes from time to secure the Evo-Stik Premier Division success.
The match also brought the Blues’ third clean sheet of the season, something that will please manager Karl Rose and something helped by the return of Tom Woodhead in goal. Joe Wilcox moved to centre back to replace Mark Gray, who has left the club, while Jay McFadzean returned from illness, replacing Jimmy Ghaichem.
The Blues opened the scoring with their first meaningful attack of the match five minutes in. Jake Picton’s intended pass to Dyer-Stewart was helped along by Stafford full-back Michael Carr and the Blues man sprinted away before playing a perfect ball across the box for Hinsley to fire past Jon Brain.
Stafford looked for a response and Danny Quinn fired over the bar following a long throw-in from James McCarthy, while at the other end McFadzean had a great chance to double the Blues’ lead following good build-up work by Bloor but he fired over from 18 yards.
Chances continued to come at both ends with Darren Bullock heading over for Rangers while Picton headed a Joe Fox free-kick wide on the stroke of half-time.
Stafford started the second half in positive fashion with McCarthy seeing his testing shot on goal saved by Wood.
But the Blues were soon back on the attack with Dyer-Stewart latching on to a long Woodhead clearance but Brain blocked his angled shot on the line.
Dyer-Stewart fired over the bar just before the hour mark and Luke Jeffs saw his 30-yard free-kick saved by Brain as the hosts looked to put the game beyond doubt.
Wilcox also stabbed an effort over the target but Dyer-Stewart finally got Frickley’s second goal with three minutes to go. Hinsley was the architect down the right and he picked out Dyer-Stewart, who turned Bullock before rounding the Rangers goalkeeper and slotting home from close range.
Stafford did not throw in the towel and Jermaine Johnson struck a shot wide in stoppage time but the Blues could have made it three shortly after when substitute Ollie Fearon saw his shot well saved by Brain.
Frickley turn their attentions to Sheffield Senior Cup action on Wednesday when they visit Harworth Colliery (kick-off 7.45pm).
Frickley: Woodhead, Gardner, Villermann, Picton, Jeffs, Wilcox, Fox, Bloor, Hinsley (Fearon 88), Dyer-Stewart, McFadzean (Ghaichem 89). Unused subs: Kenny, Stratford, Hood.
Stafford Rangers: Brain, Carr, Davies, Spittle, Bullock, Dacres (Lees 60), McCarthy, Sheldon (Toner 64), Quinn (Guest 77), Johnson, Steadman. Unused subs: Bell, Langston.
Referee: Mr Rob Atkin.