After seeing his side come down to earth with a bump with only their second defeat in their last 12 games, Frickley Athletic manager Dave Frecklington is backing the players to bounce back quickly.
The Blues were unable to follow up their impressive New Year’s Day win at Worksop Town as they went down 2-1 at home to fourth-placed Belper Town on Saturday.
Jacob Hazel cancelled out an early Belper goal from Alex Peterson, but a second half effort from Cameron Clark ensured the Derbyshire side went home with the three points.
Despite the defeat Frickley remain in the play-offs picture in sixth place in the BetVictor NPL South East Division ahead of their next game at Newcastle Town this Saturday when manager Frecklington is looking for his players to prove it was just a blip.
He said: “Fair play to Belper, I just couldn’t see us scoring, but we had the lions’ share of the ball. It was just one of those days – we’ve just got to sit down, take our medicine, lick our wounds and regroup because the run we have been on has been unbelievable. Seven wins from nine, three wins from three over the Christmas period.
“The lads gave everything to try to win. It’s not a lack of effort or endeavour, we were the ones trying to get something back at the end.
“But we need to take stock, train Thursday and go again Saturday at Newcastle.
“When you’ve got teams setting up to frustrate us it shows how far we’ve come. A lot of teams are talking about us now – rightly so – and we’ve got be nice and bright to be ready to go again.
“They’ve done a job on us, but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture. As much as we are disappointed we haven’t got anything from the game we’ve got to look at the seven wins from the last nine.
“It’s all about a response now. After losing to Leek we won three games on the spin so no doubt these boys will respond next week and will be bang at it at Newcastle.”
Frecklington added: “It was a tough one to take because it was against a team directly above us and we could have gone above them.
“But they do what they do, they have the second best defensive record in the league. They didn’t have any ambition, but they scored from a long throw in and from our mistake. We’ve not been good enough to break them down.”
Frickley were stunned when going behind after just three minutes against Belper as Peterson’s header bounced up into the top corner of the net.
But they were level within eight minutes later when Tyler Williams crossed for Hazel to flick home with the outside of his boot from 12 yards out.
Hazel went close again only for Danny South to clear off the line. Brad Wells repeated the trick clearing the Frickley decks at the other end.
Early in the second half Belper went down to 10 men as Craig Nelthorpe was sent-off for a second bookable offence, but the Blues could not take advantage despite putting the visitors under pressure.
And it was Belper who came up with a winner with substitute Clark netting on 63 minutes.
A floodlight failure saw a 25-minute delay and when the game resumed Frickley laid siege to the Belper goal, but could not break down determined defence to come up with an equaliser.