FRICKLEY Athletic continued their search for a first league win of the season when they were edged out 1-0 at leaders Rushall Olympic on Saturday.
Fortune continued to shun Karl Rose’s men, who pushed the early-season pace-setters all the way before being undone by a Grant Beckett goal midway through the second half.
The South Elmsall side went into the game on the back of an FA Cup win over Worksop Town but their preparations took a hit when defender Milan Redei was injured in the warm up and Lee Stratford took his place.
The Blues made a bright start, however, with Indi Aujla seeing a 25-yard strike deflected over the bar. The same player then zipped a shot wide from a Jimmy Ghaicham free-kick.
The Frickley pressure continued when Henry Sibenge saw a shot beat the Olympic goalkeeper but come back off the underside of the bar.
The Blues’ chances of success increased when Rushall’s Dave Walker received a red card for a challenge on Jake Picton.
But the hosts shuffled their pack following the sending-off and had a golden opportunity to take the lead but Lee Brown shot wide.
Chances continued to come at both ends either side of the interval, with Gavin Allott coming close for the Blues.
But Olympic were dangerous on the break, Hakeem Islam heading wide just after the hour mark before they broke the deadlock two minutes later.
Beckett was the scorer, blasting a powerful shot home from close range.
Frickley almost equalised in the 66h minute when Sibenge turned his marker and struck a shot which deflected off a defender and into goalkeeper Chris Gemmell’s arms.
A fine run by Picton in the 73rd minute saw him find Terry Barwick on the right, who picked out Allott and he laid the ball to Picton whose angled 12-yard drive was superbly saved.
From the clearance, Michael Clarke went close for Olympic, who finished strongly with Brown putting a brace of long range efforts wide of either side of goal.
Rushall: Gemmell, Naylor, Haynes, Tolley (Spittle 46), Hayes, Beckett, Craddock (Haynes 81), Gomes (Islam 58), Clarke, Walker, Brown. Subs not used: Daniel, Abbott.
Frickley: Woodhead, Barwick, Jeffs, Aujla, Picton, Stratford, Ghaichem, Cotton, Allott, Sibenge (Fennell 83), Walker. Subs not used: Hague, Kenny, Levers.
Referee: John Law.
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