Frickley 2 Stocksbridge 1
Spoiler alert - Haze & Gav score again
The Blues followed up their great victory at Cleethorpes with another stonking, hard won victory against Hilts SPS.
Stan stepped up between the sticks following Sebbas injury on Saturday, that aside it was the same team that started the Cleethorpes game with Shawn Mitch & Cal Dotty joining the squad.
Big Gav almost got the show on the road early doors as he broke through the defence & rounded the keeper but his touch took the ball away from him & out for a goal kick. The forward line looked lively, with Tyler Blake looking impressive on the left on his home debut, & on 18 minutes the 2 Big Guns combined - Gav controlling the ball near the bye line, laying it back to Haze just outside the box. 1 touch from Purple Haze & it's in the onion bag, 24 for the season for him, 48 career goals for us & he's scored in 13 of the last 14 games he's played.
The Blues looked to consolidate & The Iceman collected a dinked ball in & smashed his shot just wide & then Tyler had a great chance but the keeper pulled off a great point blank save, if anything Tyler hit his shot too cleanly. Frosty came in for some fairly industrial tackling from the opposition as the Blues continued to press but they couldn't add to their first half tally
HALF TIME - FRICKLEY 1 SPS 0
Stocksbridge came out with more intent in the 2nd half, having been fairly anonymous in the first, but our defence was resolute & the goals were rarely threatened. However SPS had a great chance as a long ball was fed in & the centre forward got a clean header on it & set off in celebration. Sadly (for him) Big Stan pulled off an amazing stop, reminiscent of Gordon Banks vs Pele in 1970 World Cup, which will have had Sebba purring his approval (in Polish).
SPS were coming back into it more & more but then 1 move by Gav seemed to get the boys revved up again. An attack broke down & SPS broke - but Gav chased back deep into his own half, won the ball, took the return pass & set Frosty scampering down the right hand side who then fed in a cracking pass that was just too strong for Tyler at the far post.
A fluffed clearance by the keeper fell to Haze about 30 yards out & he had a dig first time - it was comfortably wide but good reactions from Jacob
It seemed like the only way the visitors were going to score was through a penner & so it was, but the penalty was one that the forward 'earned' as opposed to being conceded by the defence. You can see from the video that he appears to be brought down by Richie Patts bootlaces. Stan went the right way but couldn't keep it out & so after 74 minutes it was 1 each. Spen brought Duggie on for Tyler Blake, JB for Darkenbauer & Ishy Dawson for the Iceman as the Blue continued to press for the victory.
The clock continued to tick & we were awarded a corner in the 87th minute. In a textbook training ground routine, Ben Algar puts the cross to the near post & the Big Man meets it flush with a header - no-one is stopping that. It is his 15th of the season & his 103rd for the Blues which puts him 2 behind Keith Whiteley & 3 behind Gary Hooley. It was also our 50th league goal of the season (we scored 47 last season) & our 71st including cup games.
The Blues comfortably closed out the rest of the game with Haze & Ishy Dawson becoming well acquainted with the corner flags!
Before kick off on Saturday we were 8th, we're now 3rd which shows you how tight it is at the top of the table.
Another win in the dying embers - this team has got spirit
WEBMASTER MOTM - tough one. The defensive perfomance meant that Stan had a relatively quiet game but when called upon he pulls off a worldy. The front 3 all worked well together & Haze did what Haze does. RPatts & Darkenbauer were like Vieira & Petit. The Glitterball is going to Richie Patts - his Rolls Royce engine & Land Rover 'go anywhere' bodywork were off the scale.
HOWEVER.....the Media Team were match ball sponsors so we are exercising our sponsors prerogative to nominate a MOTM & it goes to Gavin Allott. The Big Man played a Captains knock, reinvigorated the lads 2nd half with his chasing back &, of course, scored the winner.
277 through the gate - thank you to everyone who came & cheered lads on. Come again on Saturday when Alvechurch are our visitors.