Frickley Athletic 1-1 Curzon Ashton
The Blues got the result they needed as they drew 1-1 with Curzon Ashton at Westfield Lane with Macaulay Parkinson scoring the Blues' goal.
Parkinson's 32nd minute opener was an excellent 25 yard free-kick which gave Curzon's goalkeeper Hakan Burton no chance. It came four minutes after the visitors had Lee Pugh sent off for a bad challenge on Jake Stannard.
Frickley had gone into the game knowing that they had to avoid defeat to their high flying visitors to be sure of avoiding relegation whilst a defeat would leave them needing Marine to fail to win at Blyth Spartans.
Karl Rose kept faith with the same starting eleven that played out the goalless draw at Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night but Luke Jeffs was fit to return to the bench.
The Blues were positive from the start and after just 5 minutes Jake Stannard looked to have sent Reece Thompson clear between Curzon’s centre halves but he was tugged back 35 yards out by Jonathan Hunt who was lucky not to receive a caution. Unfortunately, Parkinson’s lofted free-kick was comfortably dealt with by Burton.
A good run from Brad Dockerty four minutes later saw the youngster set up Matty Bloor to put a low 25 yard shot wide of the left hand post but the Blues should have taken the lead on 21 minutes. Gavin Allott played a ball over the defence for Thompson to chase and he got the better of Simon Woodford 20 yards out to take the ball round Burton but he steered the ball into the side netting.
The visitors faced an up-hill struggle when they were reduced to ten men in the 28th minute, Lee Pugh sent off for a dangerous tackle on Jake Stannard in front of the away dug out which led to a small fracas and Parkinson receiving a yellow card.
Parkinson was involved again four minutes later but this time he was giving the Blues the lead as he curled in a fantastic 25 yard free-kick beyond the reach of Burton.
Allott sent Thompson clear again on 38 minutes but this time Woodford did well to get back and prevent the striker from getting in a shot at goal as Burton collected the ball.
The Blues rode their luck a little in the 49th minute when Ben Simpson failed to collect a high cross from Woodford as he was challenged by Niall Cummings with the ball striking the head of John Cyrus and bouncing goalwards only to be hooked off the line by a great clearance from Parkinson.
Allott had the ball in the net on 57 minutes but the goal was disallowed for a foul by Thompson on Chris Rowney.
Parkinson tried his luck with another 25 yard free-kick in the 66th minute following a foul on Dockerty but this time his effort sailed over the bar.
Curzon started to throw players forwards more in search of an equaliser and went close on 71 minutes when Simpson collected Ryan Brooke’s shot on the turn at the second attempt following a corner.
Four minutes later Curzon got their equaliser when Brooke did well down the left before sending over a perfect cross from Cummings to head past Simpson from close range, despite Simpson managing to get hand to the ball.
Allott met a Parkinson corner with a powerful header straight at Burton in the 83rd minute but both sides were content to settle for the point, so much so that as the game entered stoppage time Simpson was stood the ball at his feet for nearly a minute before a Curzon player ventured near him forcing him to pick the ball up!
At the final whistle both sides celebrated with the Blues guaranteeing Evo-Stik Premier Division football next season as they finished 19th whilst Curzon Ashton ensure their participation in the end of season promotion play offs.
Frickley Athletic : Ben Simpson, Macaulay Parkinson, Lee Stratford, Jake Stannard, John Cyrus Luke Jeffs 78 mins), Jameel Ible, Luke Hinsley, Matty Bloor, Reece Thompson, Gavin Allott, Brad Dockerty. Unused subs. Luke Hornsey, Brad Riley, James Kay, Sam Leigh.
Curzon Ashton : Hakan Burton, Simon Woodford (Darren Thornton 72 mins), Lee Pugh, Jonathan Hunt, Daniel Shaw, Alex brown, Chris Rowney, Joe Guest, Niall Cummings, Ryan Brooke, Luke Horrocks (Tom Sauvenanien 78 mins). Unused subs. Sam Walker, Ashley Stott, Cameron Mason.
Referee : Mr. Matt. McGrath
Attendance : 320