Frickley Athletic brought a point back from Barwell on Tuesday night, but it could have been more had they not seen a penalty saved in their Evo-Stik Premier League game.
Reece Thompson and Luke Hinsley scored a goal each in a 2-2 draw as the Blues recovered from a shaky start, but Matt Bloor saw his penalty saved to deny them victory.
Frickley were without Gavin Allott, Matt Young and Ben Simpson with Sanchez Payne starting on the right and Jameel Ible returning after suspension. Yet again they made a disastrous start as just seven minutes in Alex Tomkinson sent over a deep free kick which Sam Leigh failed to reach, allowing the ball to find its way just inside the far post.
The Blues battled back and were level seven minutes later when Thompson volleyed the ball past stranded keeper Liam Castle from 15 yards.
Hinsley sent Thompson racing clear on 26 minutes and despite being pulled back he fired in a low shot that hit the outside of the post. Immediately Barwell broke down their left with Leigh pulling off a great save to deny Ant Carney from close range.
On 29 minutes Thompson again tormented the Barwell defence and was brought down inside the box only for Bloor’s spot kick to be brilliantly saved by Castle.
John Cyrus then headed straight at Castle following a Jeffs free-kick as the Blues finished the half on top.
Frickley took the lead two minutes into the second half when Hinsley robbed a defender in midfield and advanced towards goal before firing an angled shot past Castle from the edge of the box.
Hinsley headed a Jeffs cross just wide before Barwell drew level on 69 minutes. Luke Hornsey conceded a free-kick 25 yards out from which Tomkinson curled a low shot just inside the left hand post.
Both sides had spells of pressure as they looked for a winner in the closing stages, but were unable to carve out any clear opportunities.
Frickley: Leigh, Stannard, Jeffs, Hornsey, Cyrus, Ible, Riley, Bloor, Thompson, Hinsley, Payne (Parkinson 74).
Frickley were on the wrong end of a 2-1 result when they hosted high flying Workington on Saturday.
Despite pinning the visitors back for long periods in the second half the Blues failed to rescue a point against 10-man opponents.
They found themselves behind after just 76 seconds as Leigh scuffed his clearance, which fell kindly for Gareth Arnison some 30 yards out and he despatched it first time.
However, the game appeared to turn in the Blues favour seven minutes later when Brad Riley sent Thompson clear and he was impeded by central defender Daniel Wordsworth as he broke into the box. The referee sent-off Wordsworth, but judged the offence had taken place outside the box and Gavin Allott’s subsequent 20-yard free-kick was pushed past the post by Jonny Jamieson.
With the wind at their backs in the first half the visitors continued to threaten with Gavin Skelton putting a 25-yard shot just over and Connor Tinnion heading just wide.
A good cross from Macaulay Parkinson picked out Thompson inside the box on 32 minutes, but he swivelled and shot just wide from 15 yards.
Workington broke two minutes later to extend their lead as Skelton’s speculative shot from 25 yards took an awkward bounce in front of Leigh’s dive and went over him into the net.
But as the half entered stoppage time the Blues had a flurry of chances. First, some neat football saw Matt Bloor find Allott inside the box and he turned his marker before seeing his shot deflected over. The resulting corner was met by John Cyrus with Tinnion heading the ball off the line while a cross from Thompson was missed by Joshua Calvert but the ball struck Allott and looped over from five yards.
Half-time saw manager Karl Rose change the formation to take advantage of the extra man and it worked within two minutes of the restart when Riley’s corner was headed goalwards by Cyrus for Allott to sweep the ball in.
A minute later Allott fired over when well placed following a free-kick by Jeffs and Thompson had an angled shot parried by Jamieson on 51 minutes. Jamieson’s resulting clearance was headed forwards by Cyrus for Allott to break clear but his attempted lob went wide.
Thompson went close on the hour when his flicked header from a Jeffs cross went inches wide and Bloor headed wide from a corner.
Good play down the left from Thompson on 82 minutes saw him cut into the box and play the ball back for Bloor to fire over from 20 yards while Cyrus headed a free-kick from Jeffs narrowly over from close range three minutes later.
The Blues exerted more pressure, but they could not find an equaliser, with Luke Hornsey coming closest with a shot that Jamieson tipped over the bar.
Frickley: Leigh, Stannard, Parkinson (Johnson 82), Hornsey, Cyrus, Jeffs, Riley (Payne 72), Bloor, Thompson, Allott, Hinsley.