New manager John Stancliffe was out of luck in his first game in charge as Frickley Athletic were knocked out of the Integro League Cup on penalties against Farsley Celtic on Tuesday night.
The Blues produced a decent display against opponents from a division above, but after drawing 1-1 they lost out 5-4 in the penalty shoot-out used to decide who would go through to the third round.
Farsley are riding high in the Premier Division, but were given a testing time by a Frickley side determined to get back to form after losing their previous two matches.
The Blues gave first warning when Ali Smith’s strike had to be saved by the visiting keeper, Ed Hall, and Jameel Ible then had the ball in theback of the net only to be flagged for offside.
Smith sent a lob wide and later in the half worked the keeper after a good break. Jacob Hazel was also denied by Hall following a strong run, but it remained goalless to the break.
The deadlock was broken 10 minutes into the second half as Hazel netted.
Farsley equalised nine minutes later, however, as pressure saw George Hornshaw hammer a goal home.
Neither side were able to create much in the closing stages and it remained 1-1 until the end of the 90 minutes.
With no extra-time it was straight to penalties and both sides were successful with their first four spot kicks each, Richard Patterson, Danny Rowe, Hazel and Ible netting for Frickley.
Ben Algar saw his effort saved by Hall, however, and Danny Ellis stepped up to put Celtic through.
After a thrilling 18 months with the club Spencer Fearn’s time as Frickley Athletic manager ended with a disappointing display from his team and an exit from the FA Trophy at the first qualifying round stage last Saturday.
At home to fellow Evo-Stik League side Ramsbottom United, the Blues had chances, but could not take any of them and continued to defend sloppily to bring about a 3-0 defeat.
After conceding 11 goals in their previous three games the defence was caught out again just seven minutes into the tie as Nialle Rodney skipped past Ben Algar and delivered a low cross that was unluckily diverted past keeper Hugo Warhurst by the outstretched boot of Jameel Ible for an own goal.
The Rams’ fast start saw them go close to adding to the lead as Ruben Jerome shot just wide and Warhurst had to save from Rodney.
Nic Evangelinos headed straight at Warhurst from another chance before Frickley finally got a foothold in the game. They were met by some good defending with the closest to a goal in the first half coming when Lewis Szanto’s free-kick from 25 yards out brought a diving save from visiting keeper Sam Ashton.
The Blues’ chances were not helped as they lost in-form Tyler Walton to injury at half-time. But they showed determination to get back in the contest with Danny Rowe having a header scrambled off the line.
Ashton was then forced to make a couple of flying saves to keep out efforts from Jacob Hazel and Ali Smith.
United’s lively attacking trio Jerome, Evangelinos and Rodney were still causing the home defence some concerns on the counter attack and Jerome had a great opportunity only to fire wide with the goal at his mercy.
Ramsbottom did make it 2-0 on 70 minutes when Rodney raced onto Ryan Ellison’s pass and out muscled right-back Teddy Bloor before firing past Warhurst’s at the near post.
Frickley heads went down a little and they needed a good save from Warhurst to deny Evangelinos.
A third goal put the tie beyond the hosts as Jerome went through one-on-one with Warhurst and finished confidently 10 minutes from time.
There was no sign of an unlikely comeback from the Blues and they could have let in even more as Antony Donaldson forced another save from Warhurst.