Saturday, 14 January 2012

Frickley Athletic 2 v Chorley 1 - Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division (reprise)

Saturday 14th January 2012
at Tech5 Stadium, Westfield Lane, South Elmsall
Frickley Athletic (0) 2
Stuart Ludlam 75, James Ashmore 80 pen
Chorley (1) 1
Ben Turner 41 OG
Admission £8, Programme £1.50, Attendance 260
Frickley Athletic:
Steve Dickinson, Kelvin Bleau, Ben Turner, Danny Walsh, Lincoln Adams, Stuart Ludlam, Grant Darley, James Ashmore, Brad Grayson, Ollie Ryan, Ryan Mallon (Lee Whittington 15 mins (Danny South 73 mins))
Unused subs. David Cyrus, Jon Hood
Russ Saunders, Ali Brown, Andy Russell, Andy Teague, Wayne Maden, Jamie Vermiglio (Matt Walwyn 85 mins), Adam Roscoe, Steve Flitcroft, Chris Denham, Steve Foster (John Cunliffe 62 mins), Tom Ince.
Unused subs. Mark Ross, Jordan Bowen, Ahmadi Proya

I met up with Chorley director John Gibbons in the 'Big Fellas Social Club' before the game, who was the instructor on a course I took recently, in conjunction with my job ... and a damn good one at that.
Good to see you again Gibbo!
Thanks for the invitation to Victory Park later in the season, be careful what you wish for, I might turn up ;-)
Oh heck!
My third Frickley game in 6 days (inc. the Under 19's) and they've won them all.
But, I am NOT a Frickley Athletic supporter ... no, honestly!
However, whenever I tell my friends that, all they say is "Who are you kidding, us or yourself?"
OK, today, even though there was a shortage of games in my locality due to a ground frost, I would've gone to Westfield Lane anyway, to see if the Blues could carry on where they left off at Matlock on Wednesday.
Which they did.
And today's starting line up was unchanged from the one that took to the field at Causeway Lane too.
Lee Whittington (top left) made his Frickley debut as a sub, coming as a 15th
minute sub after Chorley's right back had put Ryan Mallon out of the action

The Under 19's also won on Thursday, but I'd already told the blond Beelzebub that I would go to the pictures with her that night, so I had to miss out ... a real Frickley fan wouldn't have missed a game like that to watch a film about an evil old dictator, portrayed by Meryl Streep.
Some say that the 'Iron Lady' is a rather cruel take on the later years of the ex Tory prime minister's life, but I disagree ... it is nowhere near savage enough.
But anyway my point is - and surely the above evidence proves this ... I am NOT a Frickley Athletic supporter.
I'm ignoring the text message I just received that said "Stop living in denial and get yersen' a blue and white scarf fatso", because I don't need one.*
A few weeks ago on this self indulgent bullshit blog, I wrote: "Frickley usually raise their game and play well against better teams, but when they're up against poor or bog standard sides, they do, on occasion, seem to get dragged down to their level."
Today they demonstrated what I was getting at, particularly in the second half, when their fighting attributes, combined with the backing of the home support, created a cup tie atmosphere.
The first 45 minutes was a cagey affair, with the midfield flooded with players and very little in the way of clear cut goalmouth chances at either end.
Steve Dickinson tipped a header from Chorley's Andy Teague over the bar, as the visitors forced a string of corners, but in the main the Blues keeper was seldom really threatened.
One thoroughly researched and well written blog I often read, dedicated to Chorley FC, see here: had predicted another gubbing for the South Elmsall side today, similar to the 6-0 result when the sides last met at Victory Park back in August.
But it's stand up and be counted time at Frickley Athletic right now and it was evident right from the outset, that they weren't going to roll over and die for anybody today.
One could say the first half wasn't very entertaining, you could counter that by saying, if you give a team like Chorley the room to manoeuvre, they will pull you all over and give you the run-around.
But close them down, frustrate them and front them up, toe to toe, all the over the park and keep up the ante ... and well, they're beatable.
It looked as if the game was going to be goalless at half time and then Frickley could take advantage of the 'natural gradient' of the pitch in the second half, to apply pressure on the visitors goal.
But on 41 minutes, Tom Ince shot at Dickinson's goal from the edge of the box.
It was going wide, but Ben Turner, making sure it wasn't going to creep in, stuck out his foot to block the effort and diverted the ball just inside the post for an own goal.
This Frickley side never make things easy for themselves do they!?After the break, it was gloves off and into the fray time.
Frickley are fighting for their Premier Division status and the highly rated visitors knew they had been in a scrap by the time 90 minutes were up.
The home crowd could sense that their team were giving it their all and got behind them.
I think it would be fair to say that the Westfield Lane faithful aren't renowned for being shy about letting anyone know if they think they're putting a shift in or not.
Chances went begging and Russ Saunders in the Chorley goal was suddenly in the thick of it.
Granted, it was more 'gung ho' and determination than finesse and tippy tappy football at times, but it was effective and the visitors were now under the cosh.
Football 'purists' watch multi million pound fancy dans poncing around on SKY TV. Fans of real football, of the no holds barred, cut and thrust variety, head to arenas like the Tech5 Stadium on cold Saturday afternoon's to get their kicks.
I know which I prefer.
Five in attack!? Now, that's cavalier!

On 75 minutes, Frickley finally got the breakthrough their efforts warranted, when Stuart Ludlam thumped home a header from a corner out on the left ... and five minutes later Jamie Vermilglio impeded Ollie Ryan as he ran in on goal and the referee awarded a penalty, which James Ashmore placed just inside the post, into exactly the same spot that Ben Turner had found on 41 minutes, to be precise.
Note at this juncture, all you vocabulary nit pickers ... In football parlance, one can thump the ball with one's forehead (and outfield players are forbidden from using their hands anyway), therefore that wasnae' a grammatical faux pas, so shurrup!
It was all over now, bar Steve Dickinson having to deal with a Tom Ince free kick right at the end.
I was quite excited when I saw Tom Ince's name on the team sheet, because I thought (God knows why, eh!?) that it was the same Tom Ince who had excelled for Blackpool on last week's Match of the Day (ITV variant), the son of the ex England midfield powerhouse Paul Ince.
Alas, as the picture below shows, this Tom Ince looks nothing like that Tom Ince.
one had signed for Chorley from Leigh Genesis and to the best of my knowledge as never appeared in a televised game ... which is just as well, because the more famous one is deadly from that sort of range.
Frickley worked really hard and deserved the three points today, you could see how much it meant to everyone at the club, from the reception the team got as they left the pitch at the end of the game, from those who stayed behind to show their appreciation.
It must've been very uplifting for the players and management.
Nobody really expected the Blues to turn a team like Chorley over, whereas most people had anticipated a win over struggling Whitby a couple of weeks ago ... so this one was a massive bonus.
There's still a lot of work to be done while the South Elmsall club strive to haul themselves up the league table, but that'll keep for another time ... for now, just let them indulge themselves in a night of celebration.
Nice one Rinky ;-)
Aw bless, she promised to follow him to the end of the earth.
So guess where he took her!? Nice to see you Andy mate :-)

Elsewhere, on the WunderTurf pitch at Cannon Park, the only other game down to step 6 of the football pyramid, in my neck of the woods, that survived the overnight freeze, ended in a 2-1 win to Retford United against Long Eaton United, with the winning goal coming in the last minute from a guy that THE66POW sponsors.
Worksop's game v Newport in the FA Trophy was called off early on and it's been rearranged for Tuesday night.
The mighty Stags weren't playing today, because they're not interested in the FA Trophy this season and they are putting all their efforts into concentrating on the League instead :-/

*My good lady already bought me a matching Frickley Athletic hat and scarf ensemble for Xmas, after I asked her to.
She was at Westfield Lane with me today, but had forgotten her purse and muggins ended up paying her in (again).