FRICKLEY Athletic showed character and determination in abundance to keep their Evo-Stik Premier Division survival hopes alive with a 1-0 win at Northwich Victoria on Saturday.
Ashley Burbeary’s 66th minute penalty - his second goal from the spot in as many games - was enough to give the Blues a crucial three points in the battle against the drop.
It leaves Peter Rinkcavage’s men level on points with Hucknall Town and with a game in hand ahead of their tough trip to FC Halifax Town.
Exchanges were even in the first half as both teams probed to try and find a chink in the opposing defensive armour.
James Ashmore saved the Blues in the third minute when he cleared an effort from Wayne Riley off the line, and goalkeeper Ben Simpson thwarted Louis Barnes with a brace of fine saves.
At the other end Cusworth shaved a post with a powerful header.
The visiting defence had to weather some lively pressure straight after the interval but the Blues soaked it up and broke the deadlock after the hour mark.
Paul Lister had a shot blocked in the 66th minute and James Ashmore’s effort from the rebound was handled by Raphael Evans, giving the referee no option but to point to the spot.
Burbeary stepped up and placed the spot kick to the left of Vics keeper James Spencer for what turned out to be the decisive goal.
And Frickley thwarted Vics for the remainder of the match to hang on to three vital points.
Northwich: Spencer, Collins, Short, Evans, Monteiro (Clarke 78), Summerscales, Riley, Wolfe, Evans (Byron 70), Ryan, Barnes (Fitzpatrick 74). Subs not used: Reddy, Morrison.
Frickley: Simpson, Starosta, Kay, Walsh, Sturdy, Lister, Watts, Ashmore, Longstaff (Catton 70m), Cusworth, Burbeary (Whitehouse 70). Subs not used: Colliver, Hindley, Jones.
See this Thursday’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.