Frickley Athletic climbed the BetVictor NPL South East table as Jacob Hazel’s brilliant hat-trick earned them an impressive 3-1 away win at Kidsgrove Athletic.
An early goal and two after the break from captain fantastic Hazel capped a strong all-round display from the Blues who were back to winning ways in the league for the first time in a month.
Frickley were ahead in the eighth minute when left wingback Tyler Williams raced away down the flank and put a good cross in that was touched on by Jonny Margetts to Hazel, who controlled the ball before finishing well.
The lead was only to last four minutes as Kyle Blake netted from close range for the home team.
The Blues were unfazed, however, and although it remained 1-1 to half-time they played some good football.
The home keeper came to his side’s rescue with a fine save to keep out Margetts’ long range effort.
Just before the break it was Frickley keeper Tom Jackson’s turn for heroics when he pulled off a save of the season contender to deny Malbon’s effort from inside the six-yard box.
Eight minutes into the second half Frickley were back ahead with a well worked corner seeing the ball fall to Hazel, who fired home.
Kidsgrove exerted plenty of pressure as they looked for a second equaliser, but the visitors’ defence of Rieves Boocock, Brad McGowan, Todd Jordan, Tom Davie and Williams stood firm to keep Jackson protected.
Despite all the hosts’ possession the keeper only had crosses and speculative long range shots to deal with.
Frickley were still looking dangerous on the break and after Hazel had a shot well saved and Margetts hit the crossbar with a shot from distance they clinched victory when good work by Williams and Brad Wells led to Hazel completing his hat-trick – his ninth for the club.