Away points have started to arrive like the proverbial London bus for Frickley Athletic after Tuesday night’s vital 1-0 win at Eastwood Town stretched the Blues’ unbeaten away run to four matches.
Karl Rose’s men went over six months of the season without an away point in the Evo-Stik Premier Division but have picked up eight from a possible last 12 to edge them 16 points clear of the relegation zone and on the verge of safety.
The latest victory came courtesy of a late James Burgess strike against rock-bottom Eastwood and secured another league ‘double’ for the Westfield Lane club.
Frickley went into the game on the back of another encouraging away performance, which merited a point, at Marine on Saturday. Jake Picton returned for the visitors but there was no Gavin Allott, who went off injured at the weekend. Instead, James Wootton led the attack.
Town had picked up only one home win all season going into the game but they started brightly with Scott Rogers firing a 30-yard volley just wide after ten minutes.
Frickley’s response came minutes later when Picton got on the end of a cross but fired a first-time effort just over the bar.
Eastwood were in determined mood and Blues goalkeeper Jamie Green had to be alert to thwart Samuel Winch when he turned well inside the box to get his shot away.
It was the Blues who came closest to opening the scoring in the first-half, however, when a cross-cum-shot from Jimmy Ghaichem was dropped by Town goalkeeper Richard Stainsby and Wootton’s effort from the rebound was blocked on the line.
The ball was switching rapidly from one end to the other and after Bradley Munn headed over from a corner, Picton headed just over the bar for the visitors from a Ghaichem free-kick before the same player grazed the woodwork from a Yates cross.
Both sides continued to push for the breakthrough in the second half. Jake Green unleashed a strong shot ten minutes after the restart which Green managed to punch to safety.
Munn had a great chance at the other end when he got clear of the Blues defence only to lift his effort over the bar, while Wootton went close with a header for Frickley seven minutes later.
A draw looked to be on the card until seven minutes from time when Burgess, who came on to replace Chris Wood after the hour, grabbed the winner.
Winch broke away and fired an effort wide before play quickly switched to the other end and Burgess controlled the ball well before beating Stainsby from 12 yards to give Frickley the spoils and lift them up to 17th spot in the table.
Eastwood: Richard Stainsby, Jake Green, Josh Raven, David Roberts, Mitchell Hanson, Scott Rogers, Eaolo Kilierl, Neil Kean, Samuel Winch (Romaine Graham 87), Bradley Munn, Vijay Selvan (Ian Robinson 21). Unused subs: Wayne Brook, Rob Labbate, Travis Munn.
Frickley: Jamie Green, Joe Wilcox, Chris Fisher, Jake Picton, Gareth Clayton, Callum Howe, Jason Yates (Chris Howarth 88), Danny Walsh, James Wootton, Chris Wood (James Burgess 62), Jimmy Ghaichem (Luke Jeffs 88). Unused subs, Luke Hinsley, Zack Levers.
Referee: Tommy Hollidge.