Late goals from Sam Denton and Luke Hinsley enabled Frickley Athletic to come from behind to gain a crucial 2-1 victory over Barwell at Westfield Lane in the Evo-Stik Premier League on Saturday.
The Blues’ third straight win saw them boost their chances of avoiding the drop as they pulled three points clear of Barwell and six ahead of Witton Albion, who occupy the last of the relegation places.
Manager Karl Rose kept faith with the majority of the team that had beaten Loughborough Dynamo in the Doodson Sport Cup the previous Tuesday for the crucial “six pointer” against Barwell with just Ben Simpson returning in goal and Fernando Moke replacing Joe Kenny.
The visitors looked the more threatening of the two sides for much of the first half and went close in only the third minute when a long clearance from Liam Castle found its way through to Stuart Hendrie on the edge of the box, but his snapshot went wide.
Nine minutes later Luke Barlone fired in a shot on the turn that flew straight at Simpson before the Blues had their first sniff of goal on 15 minutes when Hinsley’s 18-yard shot was blocked.
Simpson pulled off a great save on 26 minutes to push away a back post header from Jack Edwards which looked a certain goal.
Gavin Allott had the Blues’ best chance of the half on 33 minutes when Moke sent him clear of Matt Preston who did well to get back and win a last ditch tackle just as the striker shaped to shoot. Jeffs’ resulting corner was met by the head of Denton, but his header flew straight at Castle.
Barwell took the lead in the 42nd minute when Tony Capaldi’s long throw-in was flicked on by Edwards and Andy Villermann missed his kick as he attempted to clear at the back post, allowing Barlone to steal in and score.
In the second half Capaldi’s shot was comfortably saved by Simpson before Denton headed over from a Jeffs corner for the Blues on and Jake Picton had a low 20-yard shot blocked.
The Blues made their breakthrough on 75 minutes when Jimmy Ghiachem sent over a free-kick from which Denton rose to guide a header past Castle from six yards.
They then snatched a winner 11 minutes later when Allott and Ghaichem combined down the left for Hinsley to send in a low first time shot from 15 yards that Castle got a hand to but could only watch as the ball hit Connor Gudger to find its way into the net.
As the game entered the last minute Simpson got down well to collect a diving header from Richard Lavery and the Blues then broke quickly for Allott to force Castle into a smart save.
Castle’s quick clearance was returned back by Amdal for Hinsley to break the offside trap and sprint clear but, after rounding Castle, he hit the outside of the left hand post from close range.
There was still time for Leon Osborne to find Hinsley in space on the edge of the box, but his first time shot flew inches wide.
Frickley Athletic: Simpson, Amdal, Villermann, Picton, Denton, Jeffs, Moke (Osborne 89), Wilcox, Hinsley, Allott, Ghaichem.
Barwell: Castle, Lower, Gudger, Preston, Hood, Love (Julian 62), Edwards, Hadland (Lavery 83), Barlone, Hendrie (Griffiths Junior 70), Capaldi.
Referee: Wayne Grunnill
Attendance : 208