Frickley Athletic sticking together despite difficult start

Frickley Athletic manager Craig Spink.
Frickley Athletic manager Craig Spink.

Frickley Athletic manager Craig Spink believes team spirit is still good and everyone is sticking together despite his team’s difficult start to the new season.

The Blues have lost all three games they have played so far in the BetVictor NPL South East as well as their FA Cup preliminary round tie on Saturday, but results have not reflected their performances, particularly with the 2-1 reverse to Worksop Town on Monday.

Manager Spink felt his players were hard done by in the latest match when they led at half-time only for Worksop to come up with two goals in the last eight minutes.

It was especially hard on Frickley as they played almost the whole of the second half with 10 men after Ben Bodle was sent-off, yet took the game to their opponents.

Spink said: “It was a performance worthy of a win, but we just couldn’t get it over the line and we’re all thoroughly disappointed.

“We’ve had a tough weekend, it’s been red hot and the lads are all out on their feet. They gave absolutely everything from the first minute to the 98th minute we played – and we played 45 with 10 men and it didn’t look like it.

“We certainly had our chances in the second half and could have put the game to bed and then sucker punch and we lose right near the death.

“They’ve left nothing out there and they are all absolutely gutted, but they are sticking together, that’s the team thing and the team element. Even the injured players are in there, we are all as one, it’s a group.

“Hopefully at Carlton we can change our fortunes on Saturday and we can go and get some points.”

Frickley will be aiming to collect their first points of the season when they travel to Carlton Town this Saturday then they have 10 days without a game, which will help them get some handy training in as they look to put right what has not gone right so far.

In Monday’s home game with Worksop played in a steamy temperature the Blues made the running with Jack McMenemy hitting a curling effort just wide, Jake Currie only denied when his header was met by a fingertip save and McMenemy making a break, but seeing his shot saved.

They broke the deadlock when Currie broke down the right before cutting into the box to power the ball in at the near post.

Bodle came on for the injured Jack Burton at half-time, but did not last long on the pitch as he was red carded for a challenge on a Worksop player on the edge of the box.

Frickley felt aggrieved soon after when a Worksop player did stay on the field despite handling the ball on the edge of the area when the last man.

They kept on playing, though, and despite their man disadvantage continued to attack. Currie went on a lung busting surge only for his shot to be saved and Johnny Pugh had another effort saved.

Worksop were lucky to be level when they netted on 82 minutes through Lynton Karkach.

They then made the most of their fortune as they followed up with another goal five minutes later as Matthew Reay netted.

Frickley could not come back although they had plenty of injury time and it was a cruel defeat for the 10 men who battled so well for much of the second half.

Frickley Athletic’s venture into the Emirates FA Cup did not last long as they exited the competition at the preliminary round stage with a 1-0 home defeat to fellow BetVictor NPL team Tadcaster Albion.

A single goal by Jonathan Margetts in the sixth minute proved the difference.

Frickley had a problem to solve before kick-off as they lost Todd Jordan to injury in the warm-up and had to reshuffle their defence with Sam Liversedge going into the back line and Jack Burton called in as a late replacement to a starting line-up already without the suspended talisman Jacob Hazel.

It looked to have unsettled them when Margetts headed home at the far post following a free-kick.

It took the Blues until the 22nd minute to carve out a chance of note, Ollie Russon’s curling effort forcing Michael Ingham to tip it over the bar.

Round the half hour mark, Tadcaster sent two headers narrowly wide then Jake Day stung Tom Jackson’s palms, but it stayed 1-0 to the break.

Frickley came out with intent in the second half, but Johnny Pugh’s strike and Russon’s curling shot came to nought.

Clear cut opportunities were hard to come by despite the pressure exerted and it was all over after Kyle Simpson’s late header deflected to safety off his own teammate.

After the game manager Craig Spink said: “It was a tough one to take.

“We made a few changes second half and I thought we dominated possession, chances and unfortunately we didn’t get any-thing from the game, which is the be all and end all – and we’re out of the FA Cup this year.

“But there were plenty of positives to take out of the game.

“The players are gutted, but they know after that second half performance that there’s a lot to come from us.”