Stamford 2 Frickley 4
A tale of 3 Daniels & 2 Dannys
Can I start by saying that this is some team that we are having the pleasure of watching.
This will be a brief report as I forgot all my equipment yesterday & my saving grace was my good friend & all round top bloke Mr Ken Whitehead who took hand written notes for me - you, sir, are a trooper! I, on the other hand, was hoist by my own petard.
So Stamford (nicknamed The Daniels) started like Phil Daniels whilst Frickley were a bit more Paul Daniels in the first half. However the Greens came out 2nd half in the form of demonic West Indies fast bowler Wayne Daniels (Andy Steel & Steve Pearce will tell you all about him) & simply blew Stamford away with a display that reminded me of Karls Untouchables in the second half of the 15/16 season. I might add that it was a cracking game of football too - proper English contact football which seems to have gone out of fashion.
Spen had to have a late shuffle of the pack as Nicky Darker was unavailable due to family illness, Danny Burns made his full debut & Cammy Hough moved into midfield.
The first meaningful action off the half saw brick outhouse-esque Henry Eze clean out Frosty which meant that Danny had to leave the field & was replaced by Ishy Dawson after 10 minutes. We spoke to The Iceman after the game & he was OK. This unsettled the Greens somewhat & our passing game suffered as a result & we couldn't find our rhythm. The inevitable happened on 22 minutes when Stamford scored the opener - this was unfair on Ben Algar who only missed one tackle all afternoon & a goal ensued!
Frickley didn't trouble the home goal until the half hour when Gav & Haze both had good chances but both shot wide. The commentary team noted that it would be good for us to get to half time 1 down & then regroup - but Jacob Hazel didn't hear us & he combined with Ishy D & when Ishys cross wasn't cleared Haze gratefully accepted the invite & smashed home from close range on the stroke of half time. His 27th of the season & his 50th for Frickley
HALF TIME - STAMFORD 1 FRICKLEY 1
On 56 minutes came the moment that left everyone in the ground in stunned silence....Hugo missed a cross!!!! The young fella has been dominating in his own box in his performances so far & to see him miss one is a rare collectors item - Jammer tidied up, nothing to see here.
Spen introduced JB with about 20 minutes to go, Danny Burns coming off (good shift by The Burns Unit), Cammy Hough moved to the back line & Frickley turned up the heat. Tyler pinged a cross in which Haze hit just wide then Gav put one wide. But it was only putting off the inevitable & a minute later Gav broke down the left, into the box, rounded the keeper & leathered it home despite the best efforts of the defender on the line. Gavs 16th of the season & his 104th career goal for the club.
Stamford equalised with a cracking free kick from about 25 out in the 80th minute & it was game on again.
85 minutes gone, Ben Algar puts a corner in, Cammy Hough guides it to Gav who buries it - 105th goal for the club, he his now joint 6th highest scorer for Frickley, equalling the record of one Keith Whiteley!!!!
The Stamford bench took umbrage to us being better than them & a 21 man melee ensued (where's Darkenbauer when you need him?) which resulted in an early bath for one of their coaching staff & a yellow for Haze.
Henry Eze had a good chance with a header but it sailed way over - Eze took some royal 'bantz' from the Frickley Irriducibli in the 2nd half.
Haze had the final say in proceedings - Gav with another break down the left (someone has told him he's a winger!) & he set up Purple Haze who calmly slotted in through the keepers legs & into the onion bag - 4-2, 28 for the season, 51 career goals.
Duggie came on for Ishy Dawson, just in time for the ref to blow the final whistle!
So although we didn't get out of the low gears in the 1st half, we played all the 2nd half on the front foot & another victory against a team that is in or around us. When you looked at the fixture list from Cleethorpes onwards, I wonder what odds you would have got on 5 straight wins?
WEBMASTER MOTM - special mentions to Hugo again, he's doing a sterling job. The centre half combo of Burns, Jammer & Hough was solid & Gav & Haze were on fire 2nd half. Stand out performance for me was Ben Algar - he just gets on with his job game after game. But the Glitterball is going to be a team award this week - every player ran through brick walls to support his colleagues.
337 through the gate & a good number from South Elmsall - thank you to everyone that travelled & got behind the team.
Next up, Leek are the visitors to Bigfellas Wezziecana next Saturday.