Stocksbridge 1 Frickley 1
Les Verts steal a point at Steels...
It was a much changed and tired Blues/Greens, after 3 games in 6 days, that looked like they were about to be bested by our local rivals, Stocksbridge Park Steels, but it seems that anyone who wears this badge of ours simply never knows when they’re beaten and they just find a way to get a result, as a late, late Ishy Dawson goal earned the Super Blues a point.
Patts, the Burns Unit, Tyler Walton and Sam Liversedge were all rested as Jammer, Jack Burton, Duggie and Reece McGinley returned to the starting 11, 17 year old Liam Carrick came in for his first start for the club (more of him later) and Sam Race, Alex ‘Starman’ Starchenko and Lewis Szanto filled the bench.
The first half was largely sparring in the middle of the park. The defensive pairings of Jammer and Carrick for Frickley and McFadyen and Jordan for SPS limiting the amount of goalmouth action rather well. SPS did create a couple of chances in the 4th and 37th minutes that were pulled back for offside. In between, Reece McG sent in a trio of threatening crosses that were blocked or pushed away by Greaves in the SPS goal, and the ever dangerous Joe Lumsden was involved in a 29th minute move down the right, his low shot forcing Jake Turner into a Pat Jennings-like stop with his legs. Perhaps the best Frickley opportunity of the half came in the 39th minute when Haze rolled the ball into the path of Duggie charging in from the left, but his shot was slashed across goal, wide of the right hand upright. Half time – SPS 0 Frickley 0.
Sam Race went on at the start of the second half for JB, who was in some discomfort at the end of the first, and slipped into the role seamlessly.
The Blues did get a pair of early breaks for Duggie and Haze but both were pulled back for the free kick when playing the advantage might have been better for us. SPS were also on the end of a brace of industrial challenges, one of which lead to a caution for Jammer in the 53rd minute and ultimately his replacement by Ishy Dawson in the 59th, better that than run the risk of a second yellow and suspension.
As a fan of the art of the tackle, I have to make mention of Sam Race here. Living up to his name in the 55th minute, he chased back to brilliantly thwart a SPS attack, and of the tackle itself, think Bobby Moore and Pele in the 1970 World Cup, you won’t be far off.
SPS gave further notice of intent in the 66th minute when a cross to an unmarked Ruthven saw him shin well over from about 10 yards out. We’d been warned so could have few complaints when in the 68th minute a lofted ball reached Lumsden near the right corner flag, he cut in and fired a low drive beyond a Darkenbauer lunge and inside the far post to edge SPS ahead. That was Darkenbauer’s last involvement as George Milner came on for him before the restart.
After a bit of reorganisation, the Blues were spurred into action. In the 83rd minute, a game of penalty box ping pong saw 4 stinging shots sent goalwards by Reece McG, Gav and Haze, a combination of stunning saves and desperate defending keeping them out before Haze nodded wide and we could breathe again. A Haze wormburner and a cross from Duggie that just snuck past Gav’s boot in the 87th and 89th minutes kept the pressure on SPS.
Deep into stoppage time, it was looking like the 10 match unbeaten run and 45 match consecutive scoring streak were to go. With what turned out to be the last attack of the game, Ben Algar crossed the halfway line, ball at his feet, and pushed it out to Duggie on the right touchline. Duggie accelerated towards the penalty area, pinging a skidding ball into the danger area and across goal where it missed everyone except Ishy D sliding in under pressure and crashing the ball into the net to equalise, much to the delight of the South Elmsall contingent. Hoody can lay claim to an assist here, his shout of “Go narrow” to Ishy D from the sideline was no doubt a contributing factor. Ishy’s goal was his first for the club and, for the third game on the spin, a substitute got on the scoresheet, proof if it were needed that modern football is a squad game.
There was barely time to kick off before the ref blew his whistle to bring the proceedings to a close. Final Score – SPS 1 Frickley 1
Tired legs and unfamiliar combinations were the order of the night, but this very special group of players showed what can be achieved by perspiration when inspiration isn’t working against a gritty SPS side.
WEBMASTER MOTM – Special mentions for Cammy Hough and Ben Algar for putting their bodies on the line and playing through knocks. Jake Turner had his busiest 90 minutes in a Frickley shirt and dealt with pretty much everything SPS could throw at him. The attacking unit of McGinley, Haze, Gav and Duggie never gave up, and Ishy D’s enthusiasm and hard running eventually lead to his equaliser. However, the glitterball goes to Liam Carrick, he was a tower of strength at the heart of the back line, putting it about all over the defensive third of the pitch. Then when you remember that he is only 17 years old and this was his first league start for the club…. well, ‘nuff said. Well done young man!
124 through the gate with a good number of Frickleyites swelling the the numbers. Thank you for supporting your team on the road, it’s much appreciated.
Pictures courtesy of our good friend Onion Bag.