Frickley Athletic took a successful break from their Evo-Stik League campaign this week with victories in the FA Vase and Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup.
Spencer Fearn’s men came from behind to beat Skelmersdale United 3-1 in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy on Saturday and followed up with a penalty shoot-out success at Shelley in the second round of the county cup on Tuesday night.
They will now face fellow Evo-Stik side Ramsbottom United in the first qualifying round of the Vase on Saturday, October 27 after showing spirit again in overcoming Skelmersdale in a tie switched to Frickley’s ground.
They were forced to field another patched up side and prospects did not look good when they fell behind after just 10 minutes. Good work down the right gave Kevin Edgar a simple finish from 12 yards and the Blues were chasing the game again.
It stayed 1-0 to half-time with Frickley’s best efforts being two strikes from outside the box by Tyler Walton and Johno Williams. Keeper Dan Wallis saved from Sean Yeldrem at the other end and Edgar missed a great chance.
It all changed just after the hour mark when under-21s player Jed Wilkinson marked his first team debut with a goal after getting on the end of Jacob Hazel’s cross. Suddenly there was more confidence about the Blues and Jameel Ible crashed a volley onto the bar from a Hazel corner.
Frickley took the lead in the 76th minute as Phil Watt was quickest to another Hazel corner. Skelmersdale then went down to 10 men with Charles Duke sent-off for a second bookable offence as he hacked down Walton and it got worse for them two minutes later when Ible made it 3-1.
It was not Frickley’s best performance, but manager Fearn was delighted to go into the next round.
He said: “Conditions were difficult with the wind, but we were really poor in the first 45 minutes. But we had a chat at half-time, the lads showed a real desire to put things right and we were fantastic, we controlled the game.
“I’m really pleased for all the lads, we’ve got another win. It wasn’t pretty and we just need to tie it all together now and get a 90-minute performance.
“It was great Jed came on and got a goal. He impressed me in the under 21s and at this club the young lads will get a chance. He was fantastic and Phil Watt coming on made a difference.”
Frickley were involved in a thrilling Senior Cup tie as they travelled to Shelley, drawing 4-4 before winning 4-2 on penalties with Ben Algar hitting the deciding spot kick after Danny Rowe, Hazel and Tyler Walton netted and Ible saw his effort saved.
Ible had earlier scored a late equaliser in extra-time to send the tie into a shoot-out.
Shelley had led 2-0 before a goal either side of half-time from Jack Burton levelled the tie up. The hosts went ahead again through a Burton own goal only for Hazel’s deflected shot to make it 3-3.
It is back to the league now with an Evo-Stik East Division game at Pickering Town on Saturday (3pm). Frickley host Sheffield FC next Tuesday (7.45pm).