Despite bringing back a valuable point from their travel to the Yorkshire coast on Monday Frickley Athletic have slipped back into the bottom four in the Evo-Stik Premier League.
Gavin Allott rescued a point for the Blues with a 77th minute equaliser after home team Whitby Town had taken the lead 10 minutes earlier through Lee Mason.
But Stamford’s 4-1 victory at Grantham saw then climb above Frickley and third from bottom Marine won again, 1-0 against Skelmersdale, to continue their great escape bid
Without the injured Matty Bloor and Jake Stannard as well as the absent Danny South Athletic manager Karl Rose opted to move Macaulay Parkinson to right-back with top scorer Allott filling in in midfield and Chris Salt coming in up front alongside Reece Thompson.
The formation had a disjointed look to it and it proved so in the early stages with Matthew Waters twice shooting wide.
Out of nowhere the Blues had a great chance on 25 minutes when Whitby centre-half Richard Pell failed to cut out a routine through ball, leaving Thompson to run clear, just getting to the ball before the advancing Shane Bland, but his prodded shot rolled agonisingly wide.
James Brown made poor contact with the ball eight yards out in front of goal on 32 minutes, allowing Ben Simpson an easy save in the Frickley goal and the Blues responded with Brad Dockerty beating a defender 25 yards out before having his low shot saved by Bland.
The Blues had a let off on the stroke of half time when Brown turned and shot just wide from 10 yards.
The start of the second half saw the Blues commit themselves forward more with James Kay sending Thompson away down the left for him to cut inside before curling an angled shot wide.
Thompson had two more chances in the next two minutes, heading narrowly over following a good run and cross from the right by Luke Hornsey and then having another great chance when finding himself clean through only to lob the ball harmlessly wide .
Whitby took the lead on 67 minutes when substitute Dave McTiernan sent Lee Mason sprinting clear and he made no mistake, lifting the ball over Simpson from 20 yards.
This prompted Rose to replace Salt with Joe Davies with Allott moving up front. Soon after Allott had an 18-yard shot pushed behind by Bland and from the resulting corner the Blues equalised.
Allott picked up the ball on the right of the box as Whitby attempted to clear, before turning his marker and steering a low left footed shot just inside the far post.
The Blues were looking a more balanced side now, but Whitby came close to snatching a winner in the 84th minute when Steven Snaith headed just over.
The last few minutes were all Frickley as Dockerty saw his low 20-yard shot collected by Bland at the second attempt while Parkinson sent over a great cross from the right which Allott met first time 15 yards out only for his strong shot to fly inches wide of the near post.
Frickley Athletic: Simpson, Parkinson, Kay, Hornsey, Cyrus, Ible, Riley, Salt (Davies 72), Thompson, Allott, Dockerty.
After their league and cup wins last week Frickley Athletic took a step back on Saturday when they suffered a 2-0 defeat to title challengers Ilkeston in the Evo-Stik Premier League.
Second half goals from David Morgan and Kane Richards saw second-placed Ilkeston take the three points at Westfield Lane as the Blues struggled.
James Kay and Brad Dockerty both returned to the side after being cup-tied for Tuesday’s Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup win at Handsworth Parramore while Ben Simpson returned in goal in place of the unavailable Sam Leigh. Neither Matty Bloor and Jake Stannard were fit enough to play.
There was little between the two sides in the first half with numerous half-chances but few clear cut efforts on goal.
Ilkeston’s Rob Duffy volleyed straight at Simpson from 18 yards in only the second minute while Reece Thompson volleyed wide from a similar distance five minutes later for the Blues.
Mitchell Rose dragged an angled shot across the face of Simpson’s goal before Dockerty fired over the bar from 30 yards as the Blues responded.
Danny South replaced the injured Gavin Allott on 16 minutes and on 26 minutes James Reid found himself in space on the edge of the Blues’ box and he hit a first time shot which just cleared the bar.
South headed a Luke Jeffs free-kick just wide and Thompson turned Joe Maguire inside out as he cut into the box from the left, but his angled shot was blocked by Ilkeston keeper Jordan Smith.
The visitors took the lead four minutes into the second half as David Morgan received the ball 35 yards out and was given space to bring the ball forward five yards before unleashing a shot which flew past Simpson into the top left hand corner.
From then on the Blues struggled to make much impact on an Ilkeston side who stepped up a gear, although Thompson forced Smith to tip over a flicked header three minutes later.
Callum Chettle scuffed a 15-yard shot straight at Simpson when he should have done better before Ilkeston doubled their lead on 65 minutes.
Former Frickley player Jack Watts picked out Kane Richards inside the box and he side-stepped Jameel Ible before planting a low shot past keeper Simpson from 16 yards out.
Thompson had a great chance to reduce the deficit straight from the restart when Brad Riley and Macaulay Parkinson combined for the latter to feed Thompson inside the box but his angled shot clipped the top of the bar from 12 yards.
John Cyrus headed a Jeffs free-kick wide on 79 minutes, but Ilkeston should have scored again as substitute Jake Wright dragged his shot well wide from 12 yards when well placed.
With third-bottom Marine picking up a point in a draw at Buxton the Blues lost some ground in their fight against relegation to the first division, but they were relieved that fellow strugglers Stamford lost at home to Ashton United on Saturday.
Frickley: Simpson, Jeffs, Kay, Hornsey, Cyrus, Ible, Riley (Cable 84), Parkinson, Thompson, Allott (South 16), Dockerty.