Morris goes from goalkeeper to goal hero for Frickley

James Morris.
James Morris.

Recent signings shone as Frickley Athletic advanced into the second round of the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night at the expense of Cleethorpes Town.

After bouncing back to winning ways with a hard fought 2-1 success at Carlton Town in the Evo-Stik’s East Division on Saturday, Spencer Fearn’s men won by the odd goal in nine in a real goal fest at Westfield Lane.

James Morris (two), Alistair Smith (two) and Akeem Hinds – all recent loan additions to the Blues squad from Football League clubs – were on target to open up a commanding lead for Frickley before they withstood a late rally by Cleethorpes to seal a 5-4 success.

It was quite a contrast for Morris as he found himself the goal hero instead of the goal stopper that he was last Saturday. Frickley looked in danger of defeat when one down at Carlton with goalkeeper Hugo Warhurst off injured and no stopper on the bench.

But up stepped on-loan striker Morris and remarkably he kept a clean sheet with the Blues turning it round to win 2-1.

It looked good for Frickley early on as Alistair Smith, Jacob Hazel and Jamie McGuire all went close. But Warhurst went down under a heavy challenge and had to receive prolonged treatment before being able to soldier on.

Carlton then took the lead after Sam Liversidge was adjudged to have fouled a Carlton player in the area. Ben Hutchinson put the spot kick away and Warhurst was unable to carry on.

Morris stuck his hand up to have a crack and donned the gloves. The Blues regrouped and gave themselves a boost just before half-time as Gary McSheffrey’s cross was headed home by Jameel Ible to make it 1-1.

Frickley did a great job to protect their stand-in keeper in the second half and went on to clinch an important victory when Tyler Walton and Dan Palmer combined to set up Gavin Allott in the box. His first effort was blocked, but he made no mistake from the rebound to become the club’s fourth highest goalscorer.

The Blues comfortably saw out the last 12 minutes and could have added to their lead when Hazel had a great effort palmed onto the bar by the keeper.

Manager Fearn was pleased to see his side bounce back from a heavy defeat in their previous game and happy overall with where they are.

He said: “We’re six games in and we’ve got 12 points. Four of our games have been away from home so we knew it was going to be a tough start – if you had said to me when we started that we would have 12 points I would have I’d have taken that.

“We didn’t play particularly nice football, but we’ve created chances and we should have been out of sight. We gave a daft penalty away, but we’ve come back and got the result, which is all important.

“It was the first game we’ve not had a sub keeper and look what happens! But James has come in and done fantastic. It showed a lot about his character, it’s his third game at the club and he said ‘you know what, I’m going to put my hand up’. And how well did he do.”

Frickley now turn their attentions back to the Emirates FA Cup when they travel to play Marine on Saturday (3pm). They are back at home in the league next Tuesday when up against Brighouse Town (7.45pm).