Frickley’s promotion boost

Tyler Walton with Frickley Athletic manager Spencer Fearn.
Tyler Walton with Frickley Athletic manager Spencer Fearn.

Frickley Athletic revived their hopes of finishing in one of the automatic promotion spots in the Evo-Stik South when they won away from home while rivals Alvechurch slipped up.

Alvechurch remain favourites to clinch runners-up place behind runaway leaders Basford United as they have two games in hand on Spencer Fearn’s men, but their defeat at home to Spalding United on a day when Frickley won 2-1 at Romulus has given the Blues renewed hope.

They are still three points ahead of Frickley, however, following a 1-0 win against Cleethorpes Town on Tuesday while Bedworth United are in third, a point ahead of the Blues from a game more.

Frickley did their bit to keep their promotion bid going with victory last Saturday, although it was hard work and it could have come at a cost as they lost skipper and big goal threat Gavin Allott to injury.

The first half was goalless, although Frickley had early chances when Tyler Walton sent a half-volley over and Jacob Hazel’s shot skimmed the woodwork following good play by Sam Liversidge, Walton and Allott.

Allott’s flicked header also went close before he had to leave the field after he landed awkwardly. Everyone at the club now has fingers crossed that it turns out to be just bruising and he can quickly resume his place in the team.

Romulus came out with more intent in the second half, but it was still Frickley creating the chances as Danny Burns had a close range header saved and Reece McGinley’s cross was only half-cleared to Hazel who smashed it just over from the edge of the box.

A goal finally arrived on 55 minutes when McGinley pulled the ball back to Walton on the edge of the box and he finished calmly into the net.

Hazel went close twice to adding to the lead, but Romulus equalised against the run of play, Romario Martin taking advantage of a lack of concentration at the back for the Blues.

The hosts rode their luck again when Hazel saw his penalty saved after Walton had been brought down in the box.

However, Frickley were not to be denied and came up with a winning goal on 78 minutes when Tom Dugdale met Walton’s cross with a deft finish.

That they deserved the victory was not in doubt and they have now won their last three league games – a run that would be standing at four if their 2-0 score at Spalding had been allowed to stand. Under the FA rules that game now has to be played again from scratch even though there were only eight minutes left when the original match was abandoned and it will now be staged on Tuesday, April 10 with a 7.45pm kick-off.

This Saturday Frickley are at home to mid-table Peterborough Sports, looking for revenge after they ended the Blues’ record equalling winning run last month. Athletic are also in action on Monday away to Stocksbridge Park Steels. Both games kick-off at 3pm.