RYAN Kendall denied Frickley Athletic a point against leaders North Ferriby United in a five-goal Boxing Day thriller in South Elmsall.
Kendall struck the ten-man visitors’ winner two minutes from time after the Blues had battled back from 2-0 down to draw level thanks to goals from Chris Howarth and Gavin Allott.
The victory was Ferriby’s third against Karl Rose’s men this season after previous wins in the FA Trophy and in the reverse league fixture.
The result also ended Frickley’s eight-match unbeaten run on home soil - ironically their last defeat came against Ferriby in the FA Trophy.
In difficult wet conditions the match did well to last the distance and it was perhaps a surprise that the game was goalless at half time.
Matty Bloor had the Blues’ first effort of note after 4 minutes, firing in a shot from the edge of the box that former Blues’ ‘keeper Adam Nicklin dealt with comfortably and on 17 minutes Patrece Liburd’s flick following a free-kick had Nicklin scrambling across his goal but the ball drifted just wide of the far post.
Nathan Peat’s free-kick caused confusion in the Frickley box on 22 minutes but the ball was hacked clear before a Ferriby player could pounce.
On 32 minutes Jimmy Ghaichem’s free-kick from the left was met by the head of Jason Yates but Nicklin caught the ball under the bar and five minutes later a Ghaichem cross from the right found Jake Picton on the edge of the box but his shot lacked power.
With the constant rain making conditions deteriorate by the minute the Blues went close again just before the break when Picton met a corner from the right with a glancing header that Nicklin pushed away but the tricky surface preveted a Blues’ player from getting ion a telling shot from the loose ball.
Ferriby took the lead three minutes after half time following some poor defending when Kendall pounced to head into the net from close range after his initial shot had been blocked by Blues stopper Tom Woodhead.
Six minutes later Woodhead had to be alert to tip over a 22 yard free-kick from Peat and Steve Ridley somehow scooped the ball over the bar from close range following the resulting corner as Billy Heath’s visitors upped their gear.
Frickley responded with a cross from the left by Howarth almost catching Nicklin out as it struck the crossbar and Gavin Allott then saw his close range shot blocked.
Howarth and Yates both had shots blocked in a goalmouth scramble before the visitors extended their lead on 65 minutes. A quick punt downfield by Nicklin saw Kendall clear on the right of the box and he played the ball across the edge of the six-yard box for Anthony Wilson to beat Woodhead from close range.
The Blues pulled a goal back within thirty seconds as Ghaichem picked out Howarth on the edge of the box and he steered a shot in off the left hand post.
And on 72 minutes Allott latched on to a long ball from Danny Stimpson to break into the box but he was brought down by Nicklin, who was duly sent off with Antoni Pecora taking over in goal. Allott stepped up to convert the penalty to level the scores.
Three minutes later Terry Barwick’s deep free-kick saw Paul Foot stab the ball past Pecora but as the ball squirmed towards goal in the mud it was frantically cleared to safety by a defender.
A good break from Wilson down the right led to Kendall blasting over when well placed on 83 minutes but five minutes later Kendall found himself in space on the edge of the box to fire in a shot which deflected off Stimpson to wrong-foot Woodhead and creep into the bottom right hand corner to give the visitors three points.
Frickley: Tom Woodhead, Terry Barwick, Luke Jeffs, Jake Picton, Patrece Liburd, Danny Stimpson, Chris Howarth, Matty Bloor, Jason Yates, Gavin Allott, Jimmy Ghaichem (Chris Wood 89). Unused subs. Luke Danville, Jassim Alali, Lee Stratford, Zack Levers.
North Feriby: Adam Nicklin, Dean Lisles, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Paul Foot, Mark Gray, Steve Ridley (Russell Fry 81), Chris Bolder, Anthony Wilson (Gary Bradshaw 89), Ryan Kendall, Ryan Williams (Antoni Pecora 73). Unused subs. Steve Gardner, Tim Taylor.
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