HAT-TRICK hero Jake Picton helped Frickley Athletic to three valuable Evo-Stik Premier Division points with a convincing 4-2 win over struggling Stocksbridge Park Steels on Tuesday night.
Gavin Allott also got his name on the scoresheet as the Blues cruised into a 4-0 lead before letting their visitors in for two late consolation goals, including one from former Frickley forward Danny South.
The win saw Karl Rose’s men make amends for defeat by the same scoreline at Blyth Spartans at the weekend and chalk-up their fourth home win on the spin in all competitions.
The Blues drew some early sting from the visiting attack and put pressure on the Steels defence before taking the lead in the 25th minute when a Terry Barwick free-kick was headed in by Picton.
Stocksbridge responded with Tom Woodhead saving a low 20-yard drive from Cole Payne and the home goalkeeper distinguished himself again in the 37th minute when he foiled Andy Ring with another fine save.
A curling corner kick by Jimmy Ghaichem was pushed round the far post by Steels stopper Ben Scott just before half-time and Luke Hinsley made a penetrating run a minute later before picking out Matty Bloor, whose 25-yard drive shaved an upright.
Frickley doubled their advantage three minutes after the interval when Stocksbridge failed to clear a Jimmy Ghaichem free-kick and Allott struck home from the edge of the penalty area.
Ben Turner tested Woodhead in the 53rd minute and at the other end Jason Yates floated in a cross and Allott put a glancing header inches wide of the far post.
Danny South forced Woodhead into another good save on the hour mark but the points were all-but sealed in the 68th minute.
A superb cross from Yates found Picton, who directed his header beyond Scott and into the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Picton’s treble was complete eight minutes later when he finished off a penetrating Blues raid.
The hosts took their foot off the gas late on and Stocksbridge grabbed a goal back in the 80th minute when substitute Adam Todd bundled the ball in after a free-kick from the left.
Steels narrowed the gap further again six minutes later when South found the net with a first-time volley from the edge of the penalty area.
Frickley: Woodhead, Barwick, Buck, Picton, Danville, Stimpson, Yates, Bloor, Hinsley, Allott (Wood 85), Ghaichem. Unused subs: Jeffs, Stratford, Dudgeon, Levers.
Stocksbridge: Scott, Swirad (Darker 58), Turner, Haigh, Lovell, Tansley, Bettney, Lipka, South, Ring (Todd 72), Payne (Booker 58). Unused subs: Bockarie, Schofield.
Referee: Mr Ian Johnston.
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