Depleted Frickley side start 2016 with defeat

Frickley's Macauley Parkinson, switched to centre-back.
Frickley's Macauley Parkinson, switched to centre-back.

A depleted Frickley Athletic side made a disappointing start to the New Year when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Rushall Olympic on Saturday.

After taking four points from their previous two games over the holiday period the Blues lost their way and were punished in a game that matched the miserable weather.

Blues boss Karl Rose was without suspended pair Jameel Ible and Luke Hinsley as well as injured duo Ross Armstrong and Louis Bruce, although Brad Grayson was fit to return.

This forced a shuffle of the pack with Tom Davie dropping to right-back, Macaulay Parkinson partnering John Cyrus in the centre of the defence and Luke Hornsey and Grant Ryan forming the midfield pairing.

Up front, Chris Wood came in alongside Jacob Hazel with Grayson on the right.

Frickley started brightly with Rushall being fortunate to be able to hack the ball clear when goalkeeper Dean Coleman dropped Steven Jeff’s second minute corner fractionally out of reach of Wood.

Josh McKenzie threatened on three occasions without really troubling Sebastian Malkowski before a great run from Tyler Williams in the 12th minute saw the winger pull the ball back for Wood, but the ball got stuck under his feet six yards out and the danger was cleared.

The Blues were lucky when a good cross from Jake Heath bisected the Blues’ defence in the 22nd minute, but Alex Reid just failed to reach the ball in front of goal.

Cyrus blocked a well struck first time shot from Luke Benbow in the 26th minute but the visitors took the lead in the 41st minute, Benbow striking a well aimed volley from the edge of the box that Malkowski will be have been disappointed to allow to creep just inside the right hand post.

Just 60 seconds later a long clearance from Coleman saw Benbow play in Reid who steered the ball past Malkowski into the bottom right hand corner from 16 yards.

Kris Taylor volleyed just wide from 18 yards after Malkowski had punched a corner clear while Benbow again played Reid into space on the left of the box, but he dragged his shot wide as Rushall went close to extending their lead early in the second half.

The Blues responded only sporadically. Grayson sprinted away down the right in the 52nd minute before cutting into the box and crossing for Hazel, but Aris Christophorou did brilliantly to intercept at the near post and on 61 minutes a good run from Williams led to Steven Jeff firing wide from the edge of the box.

Ryan lashed a first time 25-yard volley just wide of the right hand post in the 89th minute and substitute Sam Akeroyd headed a Parkinson free-kick narrowly over the bar in the fourth minute of added time and it ended 2-0 to the visitors.

Frickley: Malkowski, Davie, Jeff, Hornsey, Cyrus, Parkinson, Williams, Ryan, Hazel, Wood, Grayson (Akeroyd 64).