Frickley Athletic’s rise up the BetVictor NPL South East table continued after a late winner for the second week running gave them all three points in their home game with Spalding United.
After Jacob Hazel bagged a last minute winner at Sutton Coldfield Town the previous week the Blues skipper did it again on home soil to clinch a hard fought 2-1 success.
The third successive league victory lifted Frickley up to tenth place in the table.
It was not the team’s best recent performance, but assistant manager Kyle O’Reilly was pleased with the battling qualities shown by the players in poor wet conditions.
He said: “It was a dirty, horrible, scrap of a game, but when you get three points it doesn’t matter.
“With the weather it was always going to be a game with not much football played. But it’s that time of year now and that’s what it’s going to be for the next few months so we’ve got to suck it up and get on with it.
“We are a team now that doesn’t give up. Last week we won at the death and we’ve done it so many times with late goals it’s becoming the thing, we don’t stop. It doesn’t matter if you are 1-0 down or 2-0 down you don’t give up and we got our rewards for that.
“It doesn’t matter how the three points come, it’s about getting them and we’ll keep looking for them.”
With Jonny Margetts suspended and Brad Beatson injured, Frickley brought in two new signings, Nathan Hotte and Oliver Valentine, for the game.
Hotte is defender or midfielder signed from Gainsborough with vast National League experience from his time at Alfreton, Halifax, Bradford PA and North Ferriby United while Valentine is a young wing back from New Zealand.
Both fitted in well while under 21s star Paul Sherburn made an early impression by cleverly creating the first chance for Hazel, who saw his shot blocked. Brad Wells glanced a header just over before Spalding hit the crossbar with a shot from distance.
Debutant Valentine forced a good save from the visitors’ keeper with a rasping drive from 25 yards out. Tom Davie’s strike was also kept out.
Hazel had the ball in the net just before the break, but was flagged offside and it remained goalless to half-time.
It was attritional football after the interval in the tough conditions, but Spalding took the lead in the 71st minute with a sweeping move that ended with Kevin Bastos netting from close range.
Frickley levelled 10 minutes later as Hazel got on the end of Davie’s through ball to shoot past the keeper.
Both sides went close in the final minutes, the Blues having one cleared off the line and Spalding hitting the woodwork again. Then in the last minute, a Davie corner was directed goalwards by Wells for Hazel to scramble the ball over the line to clinch victory for Frickley.