A SUPERB Bradley Grayson goal was the difference as Frickley Athletic overcame a youthful Barnsley side at the Tech5 Stadium last night.
The former Doncaster Rovers man scored the only goal of the game just after the half-hour mark to see the Blues to victory in their friendly clash against the npower Championship club.
It was a deserved victory for Peter Rinkcavage’s men and one that will give them a big boost as the new Evo-Stik Premier League campaign draws ever closer.
The Blues were keen to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat against Hall Road Rangers at the weekend and they started with attacking intent as Ollie Ryan lifted a long-range effort just over the target and then saw an effort blocked following good work by Gavin Smith.
The Tykes players may not have been familiar faces for much of the near-600 crowd at the Tech5 Stadium but the young Barnsley outfit looked capable in midfield, only to lack composure when they got within shooting distance.
Reds stopper Lukas Lidakercius was the busier of the two goalkeepers early on and he had to be alert to turn a Brad Grayson free-kick around the post.
The visitors posed their first threat on goal minutes later but Lincoln Adams diverted a Danny Rose effort off the line before the latter drilled a 25-yard shot inches wide.
Danny Walsh and Ryan both came close at the other end before the hosts were rewarded for their bright start in the 32nd minute.
The Reds failed to clear the danger from a Frickley set-piece and Grayson showed some brilliant control to wrong-foot his marker before drilling a powerful low effort under Lidakercius to break the deadlock.
Frickley had the momentum and Walsh could have done better when he volleyed an effort over the bar from a James Ashmore free-kick minutes before half-time.
Pleased with what he’d seen in the first half, Rinkcavage made a string of changes early in the second half with Charles Fisher, Mark Whitehouse, Alex Callery and Jack Watts all introduced.
They did little to change the flow of the game though as Callery, back for his second spell with the club, almost saw his corner float into the back of the net five minutes into the second half.
A minute later Watts tested the Reds stopper and Lee Bennett almost improved the Blues advantage when he beat the stopper but saw his effort fly inches over the bar.
Barnsley team manager Ronnie Branson rang the changes as the half wore on and his youngsters started to stretch the home defence.
Jordan Bradshaw, introduced as Blues’ stopper midway through the second half, came racing from his line to produce a superb save to deny Rhys Oates with six minutes to go.
But the stubborn Frickley defence held firm to see the hosts to a morale-boosting victory.
Frickley: Matthewson (Bradshaw 71), Smith (Fisher 46), Kay, Walsh, Adams, Jones (Simpkins 60), Bennett (Leonard 65), Ashmore (Callery 46), Grayson (Watts 46), Ryan (Longstaff 71), Ringrose (Whitehouse 46).
Barnsley (from): Lidakercius, Stones, Steade, Scott, Miller, Turner, Patterson, Digby, Rose, Reece, Taylor. Sousa, Williams, Alderson, Oates, Ngoala, Kilburn, Martin, McLeod, Moyo, Abbott, MShillito.
Referee: Nigel Bannister
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