Frickley set for final warm-up match

Frickley Athletic manager Karl Rose.
Frickley Athletic manager Karl Rose.

Frickley Athletic continue their planning for the new Evo-Stik League campaign with their final pre-season game away to Goole AFC on Saturday.

Manager Karl Rose will use the game to weigh up his options ahead of the big kick-off in the league on Saturday, August 16.

The Blues open their Premier Division campaign at home against Rushall Olympic before back to back away games in the first week at Kings Lynn Town and Halesowen Town.

They are looking to get away to a flyer as they aim to improve on last season when they came within a whisker of relegation, but have met with mixed results in pre-season friendlies so far.

After opening with a 1-0 defeat to Hemsworth MW the Blues drew 3-3 with Maltby Main before beating Garforth Town 4-1.

They then staged a prestigious pre-season game last Wednesday against Scunthorpe United.

Deon Burton scored the only goal of the game to give United a 1-0 win when Russ Wilcox brought his Football League One side to the Westfield Lane ground where he used to be a player.

Wilcox named a strong Scunthorpe side and the Blues more than held their own for much of the game against their illustrious opponents and had several good opportunities to score themselves while the visitors had an effort come back off the crossbar.

Frickley had the first decent chance in the fifth minute when Brad Riley worked his way down the right and sent over a dangerous cross that was turned behind. The resulting corner was headed straight at goalkeeper Pat Weaver by John Cyrus.

Burton fired over from inside the box a minute later for the visitors, but the Blues should have taken the lead on eight minutes when Danny South sent Ryan Williams clear and he rounded Weaver but his angled shot came back off the underside of the bar.

Ben Simpson had to be alert to come out of his box to deny Luke Hornsey and Burton saw his low 18-yard shot fly just wide before Gavin Allott worked his way through the Scunthorpe defence only to see his final shot fly over.

Luke Jeffs put a long range effort over and Riley went round Weaver but saw his shot cleared off the line as the Blues started the second half on the offensive. However, the visitors took the lead in the 59th minute when Curtis Bateson’s cross found Burton on the edge of the box and he turned Conor Qualter to fire a low shot past Simpson.

Allott had a chance to equalise three minutes later after a good ball from Riley dissected the Scunthorpe defence but Weaver blocked Allott’s shot with his legs.

At the other end Terry Hawkridge saw his 20-yard shot come back off the underside of the bar and into the arms of Simpson while the Blues finished strongly with substitute Mat Knowles seeing his angled shot go just wide and fellow substitute Ashley Flynn fired wide from the edge of the box a minute later.

Frickley Athletic: Simpson, Stratford, Jeffs, Riley, Cyrus, Qualter, Wakefield, Young, South, Allott, Williams. Subs: Flynn, Knowles, Joseph, Barnett, Jones.

Scunthorpe United: Weaver, Hare, Dawson, Howe, Addison, Hawkridge, Sparrow, Hornsey, Adelakyn, Burton, Bateson. Subs: Sutton, Hood, Wootton.

Frickley have bolstered their squad with right-back Matt Knowles and winger Sam Jones both signing registration forms.

Twenty seven-year-old Knowles played for Droylsden last season while 20-year-old Jones played for Leeds Metropolitan University. Also registering are Lee Stratford, Jon Hood and Karl Rose.