Frickley Athletic’s preparations for the new season are in full swing after they have tested themselves against higher ranked opposition with three matches in six days.
The latest of the warm-up games came last night at Westfield Lane when the Blues faced a Doncaster Rovers XI in the first home game of pre-season.
Rovers paid a compliment to their hosts by fielding a strong side and although they were given a decent work out they were able to run out 5-0 winners with goals from John Marquis, Ben Whiteman, Alfie May, Mitchell Lund and James Morris.
Frickley were lively and could have been ahead before the visitors scored their first goal, James Gray failing to connect with Jacob Hazel’s low ball.
It was 2-0 to Rovers at half-time and they fielded an entirely different 11 after the break.
More chances followed with home keeper Callum Fielding making some excellent saves to show what a good acquisition he could be. He was beaten a further three times, however, with Gray coming closest to scoring for the Blues when firing just wide.
Frickley took a strong squad to Scotland at the end of last week and won one and lost one of their two games on their tour north of the border.
They were beaten 3-1 by East Stirlingshire last Thursday, but took the lead with a neatly taken goal by new striker James Gray on 40 minutes.
The hosts replied within a minute as Ross Allum benefited from a generous offside call to equalise and it was 1-1 at half-time. Frickley continued to have plenty of the play after the break as they played some decent stuff for such an early game in their preparations. But it was East Stirling who struck next with Allum netting again and the home striker completed his hat-trick 15 minutes from time to clinch his side’s victory.
Manager Spencer Fearn could be encouraged by his side’s performance against a former Scottish League club and he was further heartened by the second game in Scotland when the Blues beat another Lowland League side, Civil Service Strollers, 3-2, last Saturday.
The home team struck first early on as David Churchill slotted home after getting on the end of a kick from goalkeeper Rankine.
Gavin Allott levelled for Frickley after Civil failed to clear their lines, the big striker taking his time before firing the ball into the net.
The Blues then went in front after some great one-touch play set up Allott to net again.
Last season’s top scorer, Jacob Hazel, opened his account for the new campaign in the second half when he raced through one-on-one with the keeper and produced a delicate chip to give Rankine no chance.
The hosts pulled a goal back as a trialist smashed the ball home from close range from good play down the wing by Newalls.
Both teams had chances to score again, but Frickley held onto their 3-2 score to achieve their first win of pre-season.