Frickley point the way to climb table

Jack Broadhead
Jack Broadhead

Jack Broadhead headed in a late equaliser to earn a depleted Frickley Athletic side a valuable point against FA Cup stars Blyth Spartans at Croft Park on Tuesday night.

Goalkeeper Sam Leigh also emerged as a hero with a penalty save in the second half as the Blues drew 1-1 to climb up two places to 16th in the Evo-Stik Premier League.

Manager Karl Rose was without a number of players with Luke Jeffs in the USA, Jake Stannard and Gavin Allott both ill, Jameel Ible working and Bobby Johnson due to take an exam on Wednesday morning, plus Matt Young did not travel as his wife was due to give birth.

This gave opportunities to Macauley Parkinson, James Kay and Sanchez Payne while the Blues’ bench consisted of the manager and coaching staff.

However, the players on duty rose to the occasion with Leigh saving a Robbie Dale penalty just moments after the same player had put the home side ahead from the spot.

After a goalless first half the home side took the lead on 65 minutes when Sanchez Payne was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the box, allowing Dale to beat Leigh from the spot.

Minutes later Blyth were awarded a second penalty, this time following a foul by Broadhead but Leigh brilliantly denied Dale his second goal of the evening.

Frickley took heart from this and equalised with six minutes to go with Broadhead making amends for conceding the earlier penalty by heading past Jeffries to earn the Blues a battling point.

Frickley Athletic : Sam Leigh, Macauley Parkinson, James Kay, Luke Hornsey, John Cyrus, Jack Broadhead, Brad Riley, Matt Bloor, Reece Thompson, Luke Hinsley, Sanchez Payne.

Frickley returned to winning ways with a battling display that saw them edge out Stourbridge on Saturday despite having to play almost the last half-hour with 10 men.

A 31st minute penalty from Matty Bloor proved enough to give the Blues a 1-0 win over opponents who stand seven places above them in the Evo-Stik Premier League table.

It was achieved although Matt Young was shown a straight red card on 63 minutes, leaving Frickley to play the closing stages with a man down.

Stourbridge had the advantage in the first 20 minutes as a Will Richards header just cleared the bar and Luke Benbow also went close for the West Midlands team.

Sam Leigh in the Frickley goal had to be alert on two occasions to keep the visitors at bay before the Blues went ahead in the 31st minute slightly against the run of play.

Striker Reece Thompson was brought down inside the box by Leon Miles to earn a penalty and with leading goalscorer Gavin Allott sidelined skipper Matty Bloor took the spot-kick, sending keeper Dean Coleman the wrong way to put the Blues ahead.

A powerful header from John Cyrus just cleared the bar as Frickley pushed forward for another goal and the Blues almost doubled their lead early in the second half when Thompson’s neat lob drifted onto the roof of the net with Coleman beaten.

Frickley’s task became harder on 63 minutes when Young was sent-off after bringing down Benbow 35 yards out as he broke clear.

Dayle Kenny and Josh Morgan-Parker came on for Stourbridge as they looked to take advantage of the extra man, but Frickley defended stoutly with Leigh pulling off a couple of fine saves while substitute Macauley Parkinson cleared off the line.

The Blues held on to their narrow advantage to the final whistle for their eighth home league win of the season.

Frickley Athletic: Leigh, Stannard (Parkinson 45), Jeffs, Young, Cyrus, Broadhead, Hornsey, Bloor, Thompson, Hinsley, Riley (Johnson 87).

Frickley are on their travels this Saturday when their improved form will be tested as they face a tough-looking match at Ilkeston FC (kick-off 3pm).

It will be going into the unknown for Karl Rose’s men as they have not played the Derbyshire side previously this season, but they will expect a big examination as their hosts are pushing for the title and stand in third place after last weekend’s results , eight points behind Skelmersdale United, but with six games in hand.