After a disappointing start to life as a manager with Frickley Athletic John Stancliffe will have to wait a week to go in search of a first Evo-Stik League win with his team left without a game this weekend.
Scheduled opponents Stamford are in FA Trophy action so Stancliffe will aim to use the time off profitably to get the Blues motoring again after they have slipped down into the bottom half of the East Division.
The Blues were left down in 12th after going down 2-0 at home to leaders Morpeth Town last Saturday in a bad tempered encounter.
Stancliffe could not have been handed a more difficult start as interim manager against a team eight points clear at the top who have only lost one league match so far this season.
His players battled for him, but were up against it after going behind in the tenth minute when Jack Foalle tapped in a diagonal ball.
This was quickly followed by the double sending off of Frickley’s Richard Patterson and Morpeth’s Daniel Carson after an altercation before play could be restarted.
Frickley had the best of the next 20 minutes with chances for Jacob Hazel and a better one for Tyler Walton that stung the palms of keeper Graham Pickering. The best effort came in the 39th minute as Danny Rowe’s goalbound header was cleared off the line.
Rowe was unlucky again early in the second half when his effort from 30 yards out hit the crossbar.
It was against the run of play when Morpeth doubled their lead through Foalle who took advantage of no flag being waved despite looking offside.
Frickley’s cause was not then helped as they had a second player dismissed, Jameel Ible being harshly red carded after catching the keeper to bring about a sad end to his 150th appearance for the Blues. It was a foul, but there was no intention and the sending off was tough on the player and the team who had battled well to stay in the game against their lofty opponents.
The last 25 minutes saw both sides probing, but without any significant success and Morpeth were happy enough to sit on their lead despite having an extra man.
The defeat is likely to prove further costly for Frickley as they are now set to lose two of their players to suspensions just when they are beginning to get somewhere closer to their strongest team out on the field.
Frickley are in action tonight in a third round tie in the Sheffield & Hallam Senior Cup when they travel to Worksop Town (kick-off 7.45pm).