Frickley athletic are gearing up for a test of their attacking prowess on Saturday when they host Stamford in the Evo-Stik First Division South.
After coming back from Loughborough Dynamo with a hard earned point last weekend the Blues still stand in fourth spot, but their visitors are just one place below them and only behind them by virtue of not scoring as many goals as they are level on points and goal difference.
Results so far this season indicate that Stamford’s success so far is based on having a defence that is hard to break down as they boast the equal best record for goals conceded – so it will be a real test for Frickley’s prolific forward line, which has just had another player added to it in Danny Frost.
The Blues were in action on Tuesday night in the first round of the Integro League Cup when they hosted Stocksbridge Park Steels.
They made wholesale changes to their team, taking the chance to look at fringe players and youngsters within the squad, and produced a spirited display only to go out on penalties.
The Blues lost a shoot-out 7-6 after an end to end tie had ended 3-3.
Marcus Birkelund put Frickley ahead after eight minutes only for Stocksbridge to hit back to lead 2-1 at the break. Two goals in a minute from Dan Palmer and Teddy Bloor put the hosts back in front, but Brodie Litchfield completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time to tie the game up at 3-3.
In last Saturday’s league game Frickley had to recover from the shock of conceding a goal after just 50 seconds, but hit back to draw 2-2.
Hosts Loughborough struck on their first attack through Karl Demidh and Frickley suffered another blow with Jack Burton having to go off injured.
His replacement, Tom Dugdale, however, set up the visitors’ first decent chance, but Steve Hopewell’s effort was well saved. Jacob Hazel hit the crossbar and Hopewell was sent through one-on-one with the keeper only for his shot to be blocked.
Loughborough doubled their lead on 37 minutes when a communication breakdown between Sebastian Malkowski and Fabian Bailey allowed Alistair Smith to nip in to score.
But Frickley were given a lifeline just before half-time as Dugdale’s cross was controlled by Teddy Bloor and he spun to hit an unstoppable effort.
They went on to dominate the second half when their opponents were reduced to 10 men following a sending off for an elbow on Richie Patterson.
The pressure was rewarded just past the hour mark when Jameel Ible was upended in the area and the resulting penalty was put away by Hazel.
However, for all their control of the game Frickley could not go on to get a winner and felt aggrieved when denied a second penalty after Hopewell appeared to be pulled down just as he was about to shoot.