Valentine sees red as Frickley lose to leaders

Sent-off: Nathan Valentine.
Sent-off: Nathan Valentine.

Frickley Athletic were put to the sword when they travelled to play Evo-Stik Premier League leaders Blyth Spartans on Tuesday night.

Lee Morris’s men beat Blyth 1-0 at home back in September, but knew they faced a tough task to do the double as the north east side had only been beaten once in their previous 17 league games on home soil this season and were looking to stay 10 points clear at the top.

It was soon clear that Blyth were in the mood to add to their winning record and they went on to inflict the heaviest defeat of the season on the Blues in running out 5-1 winners.

Luke Armstrong put the Spartans ahead in the opening minute and added a second before Waide Fairhurst replied for Frickley two minutes before half-time.

But Nathan Valentine was sent-off for an alleged elbow offence and two goals in four minutes after the break effectively ended the game with Robert Dale and Sean Reid finding the net. Frickley’s poor night was complete as Matty Pattison scored late on.

Frickley’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end last Saturday when they were unlucky to lose 1-0 at home to Hednesford Town.

They were the better team for much of the contest, but the visitors stole the points through Daniel Glover three minutes from time.

The Blues were forced to make a couple of changes from the winning midweek team with goalkeeper Sebastian Malkowski suspended and Sam Akeroyd injured. Josh Diggles and Jack Burton came into a young line-up.

Frickley went close when Ross Barrows headed just wide and Joe Pugh saw a shot saved by the keeper’s legs.

A great move started by Jack Burton saw Noel Burdett get in a shot that was saved. Pugh followed up only to see his effort somehow deflected over.

Another chance saw Tyler Williams set up Luke Mangham, but his shot went just over.

Burdett went close after the break before Barrows put Mangham through one-on-one with the keeper and after heading the ball round him he was brought down just outside the box. Debatably the stopper was not sent off.

Frickley definitely knew it was not their day when three minutes from time Hednesford scored with their only real chance, the ball falling for Daniel Glover to finish low past Diggles.