FRICKLEY Athletic came from behind to secure a first league win in five games and give their Evo-Stik Premier Division survival hopes a major boost at Ossett Town on Tuesday night, writes Nick Rigg.
The match was billed as the proverbial ‘relegation six pointer’ and was the first of two games between the relegation-threatened rivals in the space of three weeks.
A Danny Walsh own goal gave Town, managed by former Blues boss Phil Sharpe, the lead before Ashley Burbeary and Mark Whitehouse gave Peter Rinkcavage’s men a vital victory at Stade France.
Chances came for both sides in an even first half in cold and wet conditions in Ossett.
Former Blue Daniel Sheriffe carved out the first chance for the hosts before Shane Kelsey saw a free-kick deflected wide.
Frickley hit back and some neat build-up play involving the lively Burbeary and Longstaff gave James Ashmore the chance to fire inches wide.
Glyn Cotton then fired over from point-blank range after Simon Sturdy had diverted a free-kick into his path.
The momentum swung the other way and Daniel Facey went on a dangerous run before seeing his shot blocked.
Simpson had to be alert from the resulting corner to tip a Dave Cyrus effort over the bar.
But the Blues had a golden opportunity to take the lead into half-time when Walsh, the Blues captain, got on the end of a low cross but could only power a low effort straight into the arms of Town stopper Neil Bennett.
The chances dried up at the start of the second half but the visitors suffered a blow on the hour mark when they went behind.
A Facey cross hit Walsh and dribbled over the line, with Simpson helpless in keeping the ball out.
The Blues needed a quick response and they got one just minutes later.
Burbeary was given the chance to drive a free-kick on goal from 25 yards out and he curled his effort beyond Bennett and into the back of the net.
The goal gave Frickley the momentum and they snatched the winner in emphatic fashion with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Whitehouse intercepted a stray pass and unleashed an unstoppable effort which went in off the underside of the bar.
It sparked wild celebrations from the Blues players and management and proved to be the winner.
Frickley remain in the relegation places but the win moves them six points clear of the bottom two.
And three points, and their first goals in five matches in all competitions, will give Rinkcavage’s men a big boost ahead of Saturday’s clash at home against Retford.
Ossett Town: Bennett, Henson, Boardman, Darley, Laight, Cyrus, Sheriffe, Wilson, Kemp, Facey, Kelsey. Subs: Hopcutt, Moke, Stirland.
Blues: Simpson, Hotte, Kay, Walsh, Sturdy, Colliver, Burbeary, Ashmore, Longstaff, Cotton, Whitehouse. Subs: Sanasy, Watts, Fisher, Jones, Hood.
See tomorrow’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.