Saturday, 3 December 2011

Frickley Athletic 0 v Chasetown 1 - Evo-Stik Premier Division

Saturday 3rd December 2011
at the Tech 5 Stadium, Westfield Lane, South Elmsall
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Premier Division
Frickley Athletic (0) 0
Chasetown (1) 1
Gary Birch 20
Admission £8, Programme £1.50, Attendance 177
Prior to kick off, there was a presentation made to Danny Walsh, to mark the milestone of him having made 250 appearances for Frickley Athletic.
This is his sixth season at the club.
Pictured here are Danny Walsh, 'Barney' and the back of Steve Pennock's head.
Also before the game got under way, there was an immaculately observed minutes silence held in memory of Gary Speed.
Frickley Athletic:
Stephen Dickinson, David Cyrus, Ben Turner, Danny Walsh, Lincoln Adams, Stuart Ludlam, Grant Darley (Danny Smith 72min), James Ashmore, Brad Grayson, Ollie Ryan, Ryan Mallon
Unused subs, Mark Whitehouse, Karl Jones, Ben Saynor.

Ryan Price, Jack Farmer, Mark Branch, Christopher Slater, James Turner, Richard Teesdale, Mark Hands, Darren Stride, Gary Birch, Dean Perrow (Daniel Smith 82min), David Bridgwater (Lee Wright 74min)
Unused subs, Andrew Westwood, Carl Edwards, John Birt
Lincoln Adams has a Maradona moment

I had it on very good authority from a trusted friend, that the way Frickley have been playing just lately, somebody was due to get a good hiding any time soon.
Hmm, my source must've meant some other time soon then, because this afternoon, his prediction was a bit off the mark.
Another trusted friend, the Blues manager Peter Rinkcavage, lamented in his programme notes for this afternoon, about his side conceding soft early goals and giving themselves too much to do. And how marrying that with missing chance after chance was a recipe for disaster.
Unfortunately for 'Rinky' those words just about summed up this afternoon's game.
Which must be very frustrating for you Peter.
By the way, congratulations on your new arrival this week Rachel and Peter Rinkcavage.
Didn't think you still had it in you mate ;-)
South Elmsall can be a bleak and austere place at the best of times, this afternoon with a biting wind whipping over the nearby former colliery slag heap site and sporadic heavy rain showers, it was no place for the nesh or faint hearted.
Football may well be the beautiful game, but today's encounter was the ugly runt of the litter.
As stop/start, uninspiring matches go, this one was, err ... stop/start and uninspiring, as both teams struggled to get to grips with the conditions and cancelled each other out all over the pitch.
A grim encounter played out to a backdrop of the wind battering the roof of the stand accompanied by the frequent sound of the referee's whistle, which much to the annoyance of the locals seemed to be going in the favour of the visitors more often than not.
One minute winter sunshine, the next torrential rain ...
this game had it all

Chasetown's Mark Branch pumped a lengthy pass cum cross into the Frickley box on twenty minutes, it dropped into the path of Gary Birch who was stood near the penalty spot, he took two steps forward and diverted the ball past Stephen Dickinson with his head.
Simple, effective, route one tactics, using the wind to full effect ... and a bloody soft goal to concede.
Rinky's programme notes now resembled a prophetic, all too accurate prediction.
On 37 minutes there was a massive, ironic cheer and round of applause, as the referee Paul Cook finally gave a decision the home team's way.
I'm sure he was doing everything by the letter of the law, but even through my neutral and unbiased eyes, Mr Cook did seem to be a bit of an 'awayer'.
And for the record ... I AM A NEUTRAL, when I watch the Blues play ... despite various offers to buy me a Frickley Athletic scarf for Xmas and allegations that I am now one of the Westfield Lane faithful.
I do attend games at South Elmsall quite regularly, but I appreciate the straight talking honesty of the people here and the camaraderie ... if anybody has 'owt to say to you, or about you, they do it to your face (or in your face even), there are certain other clubs within easy travelling distance of my humble abode, where that isn't always the case.
Shortly before half time there was a flurry of action when Grant Darley nearly equalised for the home side.
But then play switched to the other end and David Bridgwater, Chasetown's number 11, was unlucky to see his free kick from just outside the box rattle against both the crossbar and right hand upright before being cleared to safety. The second half was just a scrappy, but played out mostly in the Chasetown half, as Frickley tried to break down a packed defence but found all routes to goal blocked.
Ben Turner (twice) and Ollie Ryan came close for the Blues and I could've sworn I saw the goalkeeper Ryan Price touch the kitchen sink over the bar on 65 minutes, as the home side pushed forward in droves in search of an equaliser, but the 'Scholars' stood firm and were hell bent on grinding out a result, which even their own website match report refers to as 'winning ugly'.
But fair play to the visitors, they were resilient and dug deep to hang on to their well taken single goal advantage.On 71 minutes, Chasetown counter attacked and it was hearts in mouth time for the home fans as Dean Perrow was 'tackled' by Lincoln Adams as he squared up to shoot.
But the referee, much to everyone's surprise, given his performance thus far, said that Adams intervention was a fair challenge and waved play on.
The Chasetown bench were incensed by the decision, but I could list them half a dozen earlier incidents where the referee had been slightly kinder to them (to put it mildly), so I'm sure these things balance themselves out in the end guys ;-)James Ashmore smashed a long range shot narrowly wide on 75 minutes ... and last ditch tackles, blocks and clearances also thwarted Ollie Ryan, Brad Grayson and Danny Walsh in the late stages of the game.
It took a really determined effort for Chasetown to hold out for three points as the game reached it's grand finale, but credit where it's due, they kept on battling and toughed it out, right to the bitter end.
Frickley Athletic for their part, must be wondering what the hell they had to do to score today, they were camped in the visitors goal area for the last ten minutes, but somehow the Midlands side held on and took all three points home with them.
Chris Slater in particular, put in a great performance in defence for Chasetown today, the Frickley forward line won't be too fussed that they haven't got to face him again this season.
OK, request time.
I was asked by Craig, a Frickley Athletic die hard from Pontefract, to mention on this blog, that before the game, I had witnessed him putting an envelope into the hand of an unscrupulous and dodgy looking character going by the name of John ... and to remind the said recipient that it is customary to reciprocate such generosity in the run up to Xmas.
Amazingly, though the A1 southbound still had speed restrictions on and seasonal revenue raising cameras in place awaiting any poor sod who wants to get anywhere at more than a snail's pace, the roadworks between the M18 junction and Blyth services were temporarily suspended this evening :-)
I suspect the bollards may have all been blown away.

Apparently there is already snow trying to drop out of the sky, in them there hills just beyond Sheffield, so I'll have to wait and see if we're in for a repeat of last December's weather before deciding about venturing outdoors anywhere this week.

By the way ... if Frickley carry on creating chances like they did today, they're going to give somebody a good hiding any time soon.