Frckley Athletic boss John Stancliffe is hoping his players respond to the challenge of Yorkshire derbies in the next two weeks as the Blues look to turn around their fortunes in the Evo-Stik League’s East Division.
A first-ever meeting with Ossett United is next up for Frickley followed by another first the week after when the Blues entertain near neighbours Pontefract Collieries who are new to the Evo-Stik League this season.
Athletic are away to the Ossett club who formed out of a merger of Ossett Albion and Town and can expect a tough test despite the opponents’ league position.
Ossett are just three points ahead of Frickley, but have made themselves hard to beat and have only lost three league games and only one on home soil.
Their season has mirrored the Blues’ campaign in many ways as they started well, but have gone five matches without a win while Athletic have lost three last three East Division games.
Frickley’s latest defeat came in disappointing fashion at home to Belper Town with the visitors going away with a 2-0 win to drop the Westfield Lane men down to 14th place.
They were without suspended duo Richard Patterson and Jameel Ible, but Sam Cable made his second debut for the club after recently returning and Sam Liversidge played his first full home game after a long lay-off. Sam Race also made a welcome return to the squad, having impressed for the under 21s recently.
Cable was soon into the action with a shot from a tight angle and he put the ball in the net only to see celebrations cut short by a linesman’s flag.
Jacob Hazel made a typical break, but his shot was well saved and pushed out for a corner that came to nothing.
Belper had not offered much, but suddenly five minutes before half-time they took advantage of the home defence getting itself into a bit of a tangle, leaving Derry Robson with the easy task of opening the scoring.
Frickley had a great chance to achieve parity early in the second half as Hazel made another break, but he could not convert.
Belper made it 2-0 with a breakaway just before the hour mark, Kai Hancock netting, and the hosts now had a mountain to climb.
They never really looked like achieving it although Cable tried to reduce the deficit. He hit a long range shot over and then had a great chance only to see his lob go wide.
Tyler Walton had a good strike comfortably saved and it was all over, a third straight defeat that sees Frickley now much closer to the bottom of the table than the top and in need of a major boost in the upcoming derbies.