Frickley aiming to home in on league and cup success

Steve Gardner
Steve Gardner

Frickley Athletic were left frustrated in their attempts to move away from the relegation places when their scheduled Evo-Stik Premier League game at Witton Albion was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch last Saturday.

After a battling display in which they pushed leaders Chorley in midweek the Blues were confident they could have brought the points back with them to open up an eight-point gap on a Witton side that are now only one place below them in table.

Recent results have left Athletic down in 20th place – fifth from bottom – making it a must not lose match when they do eventually play last weekend’s scheduled opponents. The game has now been rearranged for Tuesday, April 8.

Once again only a handful of matches were possible in the Premier Division, with Frickley having most interest in the games involving bottom two Stafford Rangers and Droylsden.

Both surprisingly picked up a point with the former drawing 2-2 with Blyth Spartans and the latter only avoiding defeat for the third time in the league this season with a 2-2 draw at Barwell.

With only three points rock bottom Droylsden are resigned to relegation and it looks increasingly likely that Stafford will be joining them as they stand on 21 points from 33 games.

Stocksbridge Park Steels are also on 21 points from two fewer games and unless they find a winning run from somewhere it looks like the relegation fight will now come down to the battle to avoid fourth from bottom.

Frickley, with 35 points from 34 matches, are right in the thick of that battle as they stand four points above Witton from five games more and have a worse goal difference.

There are plenty of other teams in danger of the drop, however, with Barwell level on points with the Blues from three fewer games, Stamford on 36 points from 30 matches, Grantham Town on 38 from 32 and Buxton on 38 from 29.

Even Marine currently in 15th place with 42 points from 34 games can still be dragged into the relegation fight.

Frickley now turn their attentions to a home game this Saturday when they take on mid-table Nantwich Town (kick-off 3pm). They will be without top scorer Gavin Allott, forced to sit out the third and final match of his suspension, and Steve Gardner, who has picked up a two-match ban for reaching 10 bookings over the season.

The Blues are still fighting on two fronts as they rejoin the hunt for silverware when at home again to Loughborough Dynamo next Tuesday night in the quarter-finals of the Doodson Cup (kick-off 7.45pm).