Frickley athletic will be looking to make it third time lucky when they take on Sheffield FC in a quick follow-up game at the LifeSkills at Westfield Lane Stadium on Saturday.
The Blues hosted the world’s oldest club on Tuesday night in a first round Integro League Cup tie and drew 1-1 only to go out of the competition after losing a penalty shoot-out 4-3.
They had previously been hammered 6-0 by Sheffield in an away game in the BetVictor NPL South East Division last month in the last game before Dave Frecklington took over as manager. Now they face them again for the third time in a month in the return league game and will be aiming to find a way to close the gap on the South Yorkshire side who go into the match in seventh place, 16 points above Frickley from one game less.
Sheffield’s away record is not earth shattering so far this season as they have won twice on their travels, but also lost twice and drawn one.
Frickley had taken 10 points from four matches under Frecklington until that run was abruptly halted by a 5-1 beating at Stamford last Saturday. They followed up with a better display against Sheffield in the cup tie, but ultimately without success.
The Blues shrugged off the early blow of losing striker Johnny Margetts to injury as they opened the scoring through another of their attackers, Jacob Hazel, who broke through the visitors’ defence and stuck the ball in the net for his 103rd goal for the club.
Skipper Hazel came close to a second before Marc Newsham equalised on the stroke of half-time.
Jake Currie came closest to a goal in the second half with a curling effort that went just wide, but the game ended 1-1 and had to be decided on penalties. Tom Davie and Currie scored the first two for Frickley and Tom Jackson saved Sheffield’s second spot kick. But Hazel saw his effort saved and although Michael Hollingsworth put away his kick Tom Clare missed to leave the Blues as 4-3 losers.
Frickley, meanwhile, have added another player to their squad with forward Elliott Wilson signing from Gainsborough late on Friday night. He went straight into the squad for the Stamford game and came on as a second half substitute to make his debut.
But Jack Burton has moved on after it was mutually agreed for him to leave because of extra demands at work that would affect his commitment.
Another cup match awaits the Blues next week when they take on Hepworth at home in a second round Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup tie on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
A further rearranged game in the league sees Frickley now face Ilkeston Town away on Saturday, October 19.
After four league games unbeaten since Dave Frecklington came in as manager Frickley came back down to earth with a big bump as they suffered a heavy defeat at Stamford.
Right from the start of Saturday’s BetVictor South East game Stamford were in the Blues’ faces and they went on to win 5-1.
Frickley started well enough with a couple of early chances for Jacob Hazel. But a spell of pressure from the home team brought them the opening goal through Thomas Siddons and the same player netted again within a minute.
Shellshocked Athletic struggled to get their game going, although they did have one decent chance before the break as the ball dropped to Michael Hollingsworth, but he could not get his effort on target.
Hopes of a second half fightback were immediately hit after the restart when within two minutes Tendai Chitiza netted for the hosts.
When Chitiza added his second six minutes later following some poor defending it was 4-0 and effectively all over.
Although Hazel pulled a goal back for Frickley with a free-kick it summed up the day that Stamford responded within three minutes to make it 5-1 through Robert Morgan.
It could have been an even bigger margin as goalkeeper Tom Jackson made a string of fine saves, particularly in the first half. The result left Frickley in 14th having played more games than all bar one of the teams below them in the table.