Frickley Athletic sit in second place in the Evo-Stik League’s East Division after continuing their 100 per cent start to the season with a hard earned 2-1 victory on Monday away to a Cleethorpes Town side expected to challenge for honours.
Spencer Fearn’s men have won all their four matches so far this season, launching an Emirates FA Cup run as well with an incredible 10-1 win over Liversedge last Saturday.
The goals were not quite flowing so plentifully on their bank holiday at the seaside, but a profitable trip it proved with three points in the bank courtesy of a late goal by Gavin Allott and a strike by Jacob Hazel after the Blues had found themselves behind early in the second half.
After the goal rush of the cup tie Frickley struggled to put much together in the opening half, the closest they came being when a Hazel shot hit the side netting.
Cleethorpes broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half with Joshua Batty beating keeper Hugo Warhurst with a lob.
But the Blues’ response was good, Allott forcing a save from the home keeper, and they pushed on after the hosts were reduced to 10 men with Mark Gray sent-off for chopping down Dan Palmer.
Nine minutes from time Hazel equalised with a powerful shot and Frickley put in a big finish to seal the points, going close twice before Allott headed home Hazel’s corner to make it 2-1.
Manager Fearn admitted it was not the team’s best performance, but he was pleased to take the points.
He said: “Cleethorpes are a good side. They’ve not had the best of starts, but they’ve got some good players so to come and get three points is what it’s all about, it’s what we came to do.
“The football wasn’t pretty in the first half and it was difficult against the wind. In the second half it took us a while to get going, but once they had a man sent off we just thought we’d go for it, we had nothing to lose.
“We kept the ball better and showed a lot more patience, something we’re getting there as a team.
“I’m delighted with the win. Not the best performance, but we got the points.”
Despite ringing the changes to give some of the first teamers a breather Frickley Athletic produced an amazing goal laden display as they progressed in the Emirates FA Cup last Saturday.
Liversedge were the unfortunate team to meet the Blues on a day when everything went right in front of goal with Frickley running out 10-1 winners of the preliminary round tie.
The Blues will now meet Spencer Fearn’s former club Maltby Main away in the first qualifying round with the tie taking place at Muglet Lane on Saturday, September 8.
Liversedge actually struck first last Saturday through Roy Fogarty after just three minutes with Frickley still adjusting to their different line-up.
It took the Blues only five minutes to level as Tyler Walton burst into the area and was brought down. He picked himself up to put away the spot kick and Frickley were up and running.
They were in front 10 minutes later as Dan Palmer’s back heel set Jacob Hazel up to score.
Hugo Warhurst made a good save to keep the hosts ahead and they made it 3-1 before half-time with Walton’s cross powered home from close range by Dan Palmer.
Frickley started the second half in emphatic fashion with Palmer rounding the keeper to make it 4-1 and the floodgates then opened.
Two minutes later Walton set up Jack Burton to score and the same player netted again soon after following good interplay between Hazel and Walton. More brilliant play by Palmer set up Hazel to make it 7-1.
There was no let up as Hazel and Palmer worked together to set up Walton for another and Sam Liversidge netted quickly after the restart.
The final goal saw Hazel collect a hat-trick with a delicious chip to complete Frickley’s biggest ever win in the FA Cup.