FRICKLEY Athletic’s six-game unbeaten run came to an end at Hednesford Town on Saturday as a first-half Chris Clements strike proved enough for the hosts at Keys Park.
Clements struck just before half-time in what was a closely-fought Evo-Stik Premier Division clash.
Blues boss Peter Rinkcavage kept faith with the same starting eleven that produced a shock FA Cup triumph at Harrogate Town in midweek but the South Elmsall side weren’t able to recreate their heroics in Staffordshire.
Chances came at both ends in an even first half, with Brad Grayson, taken off injured just after the half-hour mark, and Ryan Mallon having the best opportunities for the Blues.
Chris Shaw saw a free-kick come back off the crossbar for Town before the same player produced a deep cross for Clements to steer in just before the break for what was to be the deciding goal.
The Blues’ best chance to level came five minutes into the second half when Whitehouse’s cross just evaded Jack Watts but Dan Crane, the Hednesford goalkeeper, had to be alert when the ball bounced goalwards off Shaw.
The hosts enjoyed most of the possession after that but they didn’t really carve out much in the way of chances.
Watts did have a chance to snatch a leveller with four minutes to go but his 20-yard effort skimmed the top of the crossbar.
Hednesford: Dan Crane, Kyle Hanes, Chris Shaw, Pedro Monteiro, Cheyenne Dunkley, Jay Denny, Jamey Osborne (Phil Clarke 87), Chris Clements, Nick Wellecomme (Marvin Robinson 73), Gary Hay (Elliott Durrell 73), Darren Campion. Unused subs. Decio Gomes, Danny Quinn.
Frickley Athletic: Adam Billard. Kelvin Bleau, David Cyrus, Danny Walsh, Lincoln Adams, Stuart Ludlam, Grant Darley (Leon Henry 61), James Ashmore, Brad Grayson (Jack Watts 33), Ryan Mallon, Mark Whitehouse (Ben Leonard 81). Unused sub. Karl Jones.
Referee: Mr C Husband.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for full match report and all the latest Blues news.