A depleted Frickley Athletic side put up a battling effort in vain against BetVictor NPL South East table toppers Leek Town in blustery conditions at Westfield Lane last Saturday.
The Blues took the field without the unavailable recent signing Jenk Acar, injured duo Tom Davie and Brad Wells and the suspended Tyler Williams then were further hit by losing in-form marksman Jonny Margetts at half-time after he picked up an ankle knock.
Despite this they were still level with the leaders until Leek scored the only goal of the game after 65 minutes to continue their long unbeaten run.
Both teams had a chance to open the scoring in the first five minutes, with Liam King bringing a save out of the visitors’ keeper.
Jacob Hazel hit a shot wide before Frickley keeper Tom Jackson saved well with his legs to deny Chris Baker.
Margetts had a shot blocked at the other end moments later as he came close to adding to his tally of 15 league goals.
Hazel, who has 14, turned well in the area only for his shot to be directed straight at the Leek stopper.
It was Jackson’s turn to make two superb saves and it remained goalless to half-time.
The loss of Margetts for the second half was a big blow, although substitute Kyle O’Reilly’ headed wide.
Leek finally broke the deadlock as Matthew Bell hit his shot into the ground and saw it take a wicked bounce to beat Jackson.
The Blues tried hard to hit back, but their hopes of getting anything from the game were dented when Paul Sherburn was sent-off five minutes from time, controversially shown a straight red card.
The defeat saw Frickley drop down to seventh ahead of another league game tonight when they host third-placed Cleethorpes Town, kick-off at Westfield Lane 7.45pm.