Frickley’s 30-year stay in top flight ends

Frickley manager Karl Rose.
Frickley manager Karl Rose.

Frickley Athletic’s long stay in the Evo-Stik Premier League is over after two miserable defeats over the Easter weekend confirmed their relegation.

A 2-0 home defeat by promotion-chasing Spennymoor Town confirmed the Blues’ fears on Monday afternoon after they had lost 4-1 at Stourbridge on Saturday.

It left Athletic third from bottom, seven points behind both Sutton Coldfield Town and Corby Town with only one match remaining.

They have now lost 10 league games on the bounce in a plunge down the table after they looked to be close to securing their place in the Premier for another year back at the start of March when the calamitous run began.

The start of the bad run cost Lee Morris the manager’s job, but Karl Rose’s return to the club has not brought the success envisaged as he has been unable to arrest the slide and in six league games back in charge the club has not picked up a single point.

They have only scored twice in those matches and it has been a lack of goals that has ultimately cost Frickley their place in the top flight, unless there is some kind of dramatic reprieve with any league restructure. In 45 matches they have managed only 47 goals.

The Blues have never really had a settled attacking line-up with a lot of chopping and changing for one reason or another and a reliance on loan players, some of who met with instant success only to flatter to deceive.

There has been no lack of effort on and off the field, but the seeds of disappointment were sewn before a ball was kicked with Frickley losing key players wanting to play at a higher level after helping the Blues to their highest finish for 10 years last season. Instead of building on the success they found themselves bottom after losing their first seven league games.

Now they face first division football and await a decision on whether they are to play in the North League or South League next season after an incredible 30 year stint in the Premier going back to 1987.