Owls youngsters next up for Frickley Athletic

Frickley Athletic's Tyler Walton closes down a Sheffield United U23s attack. Picture: Onion Bag Photos
Frickley Athletic's Tyler Walton closes down a Sheffield United U23s attack. Picture: Onion Bag Photos

The second of their under 23s tests awaits Frickley Athletic as they take on Sheffield Wednesday’s youngsters at the Westfield Lane ground tomorrow night (kick-off 7pm).

Spencer Fearn’s men gave a good account of themselves against a pacy Sheffield United under 23s last Friday, only narrowly losing 3-2, and will be ready for a similar work out against the Owls’ prospects.

With three weeks to the big kick-off all the pre-season games are being used to get the players match sharp and ready for the first match in the Evo-Stik East Division.

The Blues still have some work to do as they showed on Tuesday night when losing 4-0 in another warm-up match at home to Mickleover Sports.

Despite making a bright start they were unable to take advantage and went behind on the stroke of half-time before letting in three more goals after the break.

Jacob Hazel, James Gray and Jack Burton all went close to scoring, but the visitors highlighted defensive work that needs to be done by Fearn’s men.

Frickley fielded a similarly strong team when they came up against a well drilled Sheffield United development side.

A bright start saw the Blues go close through James Gray, Danny Rowe and Gavin Allott before Jacob Hazel opened the scoring with a strike that looped over the keeper into the net from 35 yards out.

The young Blades settled better to their task with their pressing game and keeper John Stancliffe had to make his first save.

Phil Watt saw a powerful header tipped over at the other end, but United levelled when the ball dropped to the feet of Cameroon-born striker Karsten Ayong, who played in the Czech first division last season and who rounded Stancliffe to roll the ball into the net

Callum Fielding replaced Stancliffe in goals at half-time and one of his first touches of the ball was to pick it out of the net, Ayong’s shot from the corner of the box squeezing in less than a minute after the restart.

Fielding was called into action again in the 51st minute, making a smart save down to his left. Young forward Lewis Szanto came on for the Blues and went close straight away with a 25 yard chip. But the Blades made it 3-1 as Simeon Oure put away a good cross.

Frickley fought back to cut the deficit with an Allott penalty on 69 minutes, awarded after a Gray header was handled on the line.

United were reduced to 10 men after a high boot caused a blood injury and were forced to hang on for their win, being fortunate to do so when Allott’s shot hit the woodwork.