Frickley Athletic put up a battling performance against title chasers Whitby Town, but ultimately ended up disappointed by their first game of 2017.
Lee Morris’s men knew they were in for a tough game on Monday with their opponents riding high in second place in the Evo-Stik Premier League and looking to keep the pressure on leaders Rushall Olympic, but they defended well to keep Whitby scoreless before the visitors struck from a corner after the break.
Matthew Tymon’s 51st minute effort proved the match winner with Town taking three points back to the Yorkshire coast following a 1-0 victory.
Whitby were delayed getting to the Westfield Lane ground because of heavy traffic and they were slow out of the blocks with the hosts making the early running without being able to fashion much in the way of clear chances.
The bobbly pitch proved difficult for both sides and plenty of determined challenges went in with Athletic fired up to improve on their Boxing Day defeat to Spennymoor. But with the game remaining tight it was no real surprise that it stayed goalless up to the break.
Tyler Williams looked dangerous as he cut from his left wing, but his shot from the edge of the box went wide. At the other end David McTiernan saw his fierce shot from just inside the box tipped over by home keeper Sebastian Malkowski.
Luke Mangham came closest to a goal for Frickley when he headed agonisingly wide from Rhys Meynell’s cross.
Six minutes into the second half Whitby came up with what was to prove the only goal of the game as a corner fell invitingly for Tymon, who was able to beat Malkowski.
The game then opened up more and home substitute Curtley Martin-Wyatt went on a great run down the right, beating three players at pace, only to see his dangerous low cross cut out with a team-mate waiting for a tap-in.
Tymon came close to his second for Whitby with a curling shot from the edge of the box that just went wide.
Williams was denied by visiting keeper Shane Bland before Frickley boss Morris was sent to the stand by the referee for comments made to the linesman as frustrations began to grow for the home team. They piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but despite going close from a couple of free-kicks the ball would not go in for them.