Frickley aim to be Christmas climbers

Luke Jeffs, who supplied the cross for Frickley Athletic's goal against Rushall Olympic.
Luke Jeffs, who supplied the cross for Frickley Athletic's goal against Rushall Olympic.

After their redevelopment plan got the go ahead Frickley Athletic are looking for more Christmas cheer with back to back home games over the festive period.

The Blues see the holiday period as a chance to climb the Evo-Stik Premier League as they play host to Whitby Town on Boxing Day and are at home to Nantwich Town on Sunday, both games kicking off at 3pm.

Frickley go into the double header in 18th place in the league with Whitby four places above them and Nantwich one below. With six of their seven league wins so far coming at Westfield Lane Karl Rose’s men will be looking to continue their decent home form and six points would shoot them clear of the relegation zone as they begin the second half of the season.

They go into the Christmas matches having not completed a league game in the last fortnight. Following the postponed Belper Town match the Blues had their game away at Rushall Olympic abandoned last Saturday.

A serious injury to Rushall’s Sam Brooks saw the game called off in the 84th minute with the score at 1-1 and the Evo-Stik League will now decide whether the result will stand.

Frickley’s quad was down to the bare bones and stretched to the limit for the game with Brad Riley, Macauley Parkinson, Gavin Allott, Sam Leigh, Matt Young and Reece Thompson all unavailable through injury, illness or suspension.

New signing Cameron Murray, who arrived on loan from York City in the week, slotted in on the right hand side of midfield with Bobby Johnson on the left. Jack Broadhead was forced to play up front alongside Luke Hinsley.

In a first half of few chances, Hinsley went close as he beat home keeper Cam Belford to the ball only for Aaron Brown to clear the danger. Another Hinsley chance saw Belford do well to tip the ball away.

The home side dominated the first 15 minutes after the break and went ahead when Brown was allowed a free header and planted the ball beyond Ben Simpson.

But Rushall were then reduced to 10 men as Tolley received a second yellow and the Blues took advantage as skipper Matty Bloor headed a Luke Jeffs free-kick past Belford to level.

As the Blues got on top and the game headed into the closing minutes there looked only one winner. However, Brooks went down in agony after stretching. After a lengthy stoppage and after consulting with both captains and managers the referee abandoned the game. Frickley wish the player all the best and hope he recovers soon from his injury.

Rose praised his patched up side’s performance, saying: “I cannot fault the effort each man showed, every single one of them put a shift in.

“I thought we should have been two up at the break but they came into it and bossed the early part of the second half.

“It’s disappointing to concede a free header again, but Bloory has popped up and levelled it.

“To be honest after the sending off we looked like winning the game but obviously the lad has a bad injury and the ref didn’t want it to continue which is understandable.

“We’ve now got two home games coming up and a chance to pick up points. Gav, Brad and Reece should all be back and raring to go.”

Rose strengthened his squad with 19-year-old attacking midfielder Cameron Murray arriving on a month’s loan from York. He made his first team debut last season for the Minstermen and was previously at Leeds United and Bradford City.