Big finish clinches win for five alive Frickley

Two goals: Jacob Hazel.
Two goals: Jacob Hazel.

Frickley Athletic’s march back up the Evo-Stik South table carried on as two goals each from strikers Gavin Allott and Jacob Hazel clinched a thrilling 4-2 win against fellow promotion candidates Stamford.

In the process the Blues made it five straight league wins, all against teams with hopes of reaching the end of season play-offs, and they are now up to third, just a point behind second-placed Bedworth United with two games in hand.

Their latest win was in doubt initially as their hosts went ahead in the opening half and looked decent value for their lead with Frickley failing to click into gear until the second half.

Manager Spencer Fearn had to make a late change to his team with Nicky Darker unavailable due to family illness. Danny Burns was brought in to make his full debut at centre-half and did well before going off in the second half when Cameron Hough, who had started in midfield, moved into the back four.

Frickley lost their goal hero from the previous week, Danny Frost, when he took a heavy challenge from Henry Eze and had to come off injured, replaced by Ishy Dawson after 10 minutes.

This unsettled the visitors who struggled to find their rhythm and Stamford took the lead on 22 minutes through Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson.

Frickley did not trouble the home goal until the half-hour when Allott and Hazel both shot wide. But they defended well and levelled on the stroke of half-time as Hazel smashed home his 50th goal for the club.

The second half was a different story and the visitors went ahead when Allott broke down the left, cut into the box, rounded the keeper and scored his 16th goal of the season.

Stamford hit back to equalise with a great free-kick by Jake Duffy 10 minutes from time, but Frickley were not finished and struck again five minutes later, Allott putting the ball in the net after Ben Algar’s corner had been guided on by Hough.

It was the striker’s 105th goal for the club and he is now joint sixth highest scorer for Frickley, equalling the record of Keith Whiteley.

Stamford’s frustrations showed as they had one of their coaching staff sent-off for allegedly spitting at a Blues player, which saw tempers briefly flare.

Eze had a good chance with a header for the home side, but the ball sailed over and it was Frickley celebrating after scoring again. Allott made another break down the left to set up Hazel who calmly slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs into the net for the fourth goal of the day and his 28th of the campaign.