A headed goal just before the hour mark by defender John Cyrus got Frickley Athletic back to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Premier League as they recorded a narrow 1-0 win at Mickleover Sports.
There was a more familiar look about the Blues’ side with Macaulay Parkinson starting at right-back and Jacob Hazel returning up front alongside Zeph Thomas to face his old club with Brad Grayson moving out wide on the right.
The first half was something of a non-event with both sides only sporadically threatening the opposing goal. Grayson headed over from close range for the Blues on 11 minutes while almost immediately Sebastian Malkowski was called upon to block an angled shot from Charlie Dawes.
The two sides cancelled each other out until the 40th minute when Grayson tried to send Thomas clear down the right of the box but he was denied by a great tackle by Dwayne Wiley.
Four minutes later Grayson had a low 25-yard shot tipped around the post at full stretch by keeper Ross Atkins and when the resulting corner came in Hazel had his shot on the turn from six yards blocked on the line.
In the 58th minute Hazel had an acrobatic 18-yard shot turned around by Atkins and the resulting corner was headed just inside the near post by Cyrus for what turned out to be the only goal of the game.
Luke Hinsley saw his 30-yard shot fly wide of the right hand post on 65 minutes as the game suddenly sprung to life and two minutes later Thomas had an angled 25-yard free-kick deflected just wide.
Thomas had a great chance to extend the Blues’ lead on 71 minutes when Williams robbed Jake Bennett near the corner flag and picked out Thomas inside the box, but his first time shot flew over the bar when he had more time than he seemed to realise.
The home side came close to an equaliser on 77 minutes when a cross from the left was met at the far post by John McGrath, but he slammed the ball against the post with Malkowski beaten.
The win moved the Blues back up to 12th in the table with a home game against Sutton Coldfield Town to come on Saturday.
Frickley Athletic: Malkowski, Parkinson (Hornsey 74), Matthews, Hinsley, Cyrus, Ible, Williams, Lenighan, Hazel, Thomas (Wood 90), Grayson.
Frickley Athletic’s home hoodoo continued as visitors Marine took all three points courtesy of a 39th minute goal by Danny Mitchley in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Premier game.
Manager Karl Rose gave debuts to Hartlepool United loanee Kieran Green and the returning Brad Grayson with Brad Dockerty and Jacob Hazel losing out. Luke Hornsey started at right-back while Scott Matthews came in at left-back.
In the 17th minute a some good play between Simon Lenighan and Zeph Thomas saw the latter send Grayson clear inside the box, but Marine goalkeeper Matthew Cooper blocked his 15-yard shot with an outstretched leg.
Luke Holden scuffed a 25-yard free-kick straight to Sebastian Malkowski in the 23rd minute for the visitors before Malkowski denied Marine in the 29th minute, somehow blocking on the line from Holden from six yards after Chad Whyte had rolled the ball across the six-yard box to find him unmarked.
Marine took the lead in the 39th minute when James Foley threaded the ball through for Danny Mitchley to beat Malkowski from 12 yards.
Thomas put a 22-yard shot wide of the near post in response for the Blues while Mitchley blazed wide at the other end when well placed.
Macaulay Parkinson and Jacob Hazel replaced Green and Thomas just before the hour mark and Lenighan then had a 30 yard free-kick deflected into Cooper’s arms in the 65th minute.
Hazel had a great chance to equalise on 71 minutes when Hinsley flicked on a long clearance from Malkowski for Hazel to latch onto just inside the box, but as Cooper came out Hazel lifted the ball over both Cooper and the crossbar.
Thirty seconds later Hazel had another opportunity, cutting into the box from the right only to fire straight at Cooper.
Five minutes later a quick break from Marine saw substitute Andrew Owens head just over from 12 yards following a good cross from the right and Owens shot over the bar from 20 yards following another break on 80 minutes.
Chris Wood came into the attack for the last 10 minutes and the Blues went close several times late on.
Tyler Williams saw his 16- yard shot caught under the bar by Cooper on 88 minutes and seconds later Grayson played the ball into the box from the right for Hazel to fire a first time shot over.
Within a minute Williams sent over a great cross from the left that Hazel glanced just wide of the far post. That proved to be the last chance as Frickley saw the points elude them again on home soil.
Frickley Athletic: Malkowski, Hornsey, Matthews (Wood 80), Hinsley, Cyrus, Ible, Green (Parkinson 58), Lenighan, Grayson, Thomas (Hazel 58, Williams.