Woodwork denies Frickley victory

Luke Jeffs  receives a bottle of Champagne from club volunteer and former chairman Pete Bywater after reaching 100 games for Frickley Athletic.
Luke Jeffs receives a bottle of Champagne from club volunteer and former chairman Pete Bywater after reaching 100 games for Frickley Athletic.

Frickley Athletic had to settle for a point from their holiday programme after being held to a 1-1 draw by Whitby Town on Boxing Day and having their game against Nantwich Town called off.

The Blues were left frustrated in their attempt to climb up into mid-table and now go into the New Year in 18th place in the Evo-Stik Premier League with last Sunday’s scheduled home game against Nantwich falling victim to the weather when postponed due to snow and ice.

Weather permitting, they are set to return to action on New Year’s Day when away to Grantham Town (kick-off 3pm), but have no game on Saturday as their opponents Blyth Spartans are in the FA Cup third round.

Frickley will take on the north east side, however, next Tuesday at Westfield Lane (7.45pm).

In the game they did manage to play the Blues fought out a 1-1 draw with Whitby with Matt Bloor firing them ahead on 20 minutes only for Richard Pell to level.

After an immaculately observed minute’s silence in memory of the recently departed former chairman Mick Twiby the Blues were straight on the attack.

In only the third minute a free-kick by Cameron Murray was headed back across goal by John Cyrus for Bloor to loop a header which came back off the crossbar, struck goalkeeper Shane Bland and dropped just wide.

Luke Hinsley fired an angled shot just wide following a through ball from Jake Stannard and Gavin Allott glanced another free-kick from Murray wide before Whitby showed their intentions for the first time as David McTiernan fired in a low 25-yard shot that Ben Simpson comfortably collected.

Frickley took the lead in the 20th minute when Allott laid Murray’s pass into the path of Bloor who drilled a first time shot into the bottom left hand corner from 20 yards.

Allott then saw a shot blocked before Simpson was called into action, diving full length to his right to push away a low 30 yard free-kick from Dale Hopson then having to block an 18 yard shot from Matthew Waters.

Whitby drew level on 38 minutes when the Blues failed to clear a corner and Hopson floated the ball back into the back post where Pell headed in from close range.

Within minutes Brad Riley volleyed a yard wide from 20 yards and Simpson then denied Waters at the other end.

On the stroke of half time the Blues went agonisingly close when Allott’s 20 yard shot was deflected into the path of Luke Hinsley and he saw his angled shot pushed against the far post by Bland.

Almost straight from the kick off of the second half the Blues came close to gifting Whitby the lead as a clearance from Simpson was headed back into the box where James Brown out-muscled Cyrus to win the ball on the edge of the six-yard box but Simpson blocked his shot. The loose ball fell to Waters who looked odds-on to score only for Jeffs to somehow block his shot on the line.

Simpson then pulled off a great one-handed save to tip over a James Brown header while at the other end Broadhead fired wide at the near post and Luke Hornsey saw his low 18-yard shot pushed away by Bland.

Whitby finished the game with the upper hand, but Simpson pushed a low 25-yard shot from Hopson past the post and then saw a header from Jamie Poole loop over the bar.