Frickley Athletic left the disappointments of the festive period far behind them as they stunned table toppers Morpeth Town with a display of courage and no little skill.
The Blues went into last Saturday’s contest as big underdogs as they were up against opponents who had only lost once in 11 home games in the league all season and had opened up a six-point gap at the top of the Evo-Stik East Division.
But Frickley, who had not won any of their three previous league games, were stubborn in defence and created enough chances to say they deserved their eventual 2-1 victory.
They left it late to take all three points, however, with Tyler Walton netting the winning goal in injury-time.
Frickley had Connor Smith back from suspension while new signing Todd Jordan came into the starting line-up and they held firm as the hosts looked to make early inroads.
When Morpeth did get past the Blues back line they found goalkeeper Hugo Warhurst at his best while Tom Burgin helped out, making a goal-line clearance. Frickley troubled the home defence too with Jacob Hazel’s header having to be saved by keeper Dan Lawson who later in the half produced a superb flying stop to deny another header by Jameel Ible.
Morpeth were stunned four minutes into the second half when Ant Wilson and Walton combined to find Hazel unmarked on the edge of the box and the top scorer found the back of the net to break the deadlock.
The lead was shortlived, however, as Morpeth took just three minutes to equalise with Sean Taylor’s cross headed in by Wayne Phillips.
End to end football followed, but the hosts came closest with Warhurst having to make two quality saves. At the other end Hazel saw his volley deflected wide.
But just when it looked like it would be a draw Frickley grabbed their dramatic winner with a brilliant break from defending a corner. Ible made a block, Smith moved the ball onto Hazel and he raced away before squaring to the onrushing Walton who stayed cool to calmly roll the ball into the bottom corner of the net. There was no time for another comeback and the Blues had their best win of the season.