Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Frickley Athletic 2 v FC United of Manchester 4 - Evo-Stik NPL

Tuesday 12th February 2013, at Westfield Lane, South Elmsall
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Premier Division
Frickley Athletic (0) 2
Jake Picton 54, Chris Wood 67 pen
FC United of Manchester (3) 4
Lee Neville 12, Matthew Wolfenden 15,
Michael Norton 35, Tom Greaves 48
Admission £9, Programme £1.50, Attendance 428
Frickley Athletic 
1 Jamie Green, 2 Joe Wilcox, 3 Chris Fisher, 4 Jake Picton,
5 Micah Bleau, 6 Patrece Liburd (15 David Buck 63 mins),
7 Terry Barwick (12 Chris Howarth 82 mins), 8 Matty Bloor (c),
9 Luke Hinsley (14 Liam Hardy 63 mins), 10 Chris Wood,
11 Jimmy Ghaichem.
Unused subs - Jason Yates, Zack Levers
FC United of Manchester
1 James Spencer, 2 Kyle Jacobs (c), 3 Lee Neville, 4 Matthew Tierney, 5 Adam Jones (12 Greg Daniels 55 mins), 6 Dean Stott, 7 Matthew Wolfenden, 8 Jake Cottrell, 9 Mike Norton (15 Rhodri Giggs 71 mins), 10 Jerome Wright, 11 Tom Greaves (16 Cedric Krou 89 mins).
Unused Subs - Greg Daniels, Scott Cheetham
It's always going to be difficult, to win any game of football, when you stand off and give your promotion chasing opponents (on their way to a seventh successive win tonight), a four goal start.
Okay, maybe I'm being a slightly unflattering to FCUM, to say that Frickley actually gave them all four. But two headed goals when the Blues defence should've done (much) better, one goal where their keeper Jamie Green's positioning was all over the place and a fourth that was put on a plate by Green, when he made a hash of dealing with a back pass and allowed Tom Greaves to take the ball round him to score ... well, it looked like a combination of forced errors and contributory negligence to me.
On a bitterly cold night in South Elmsall, the visitors were ahead on 12 minutes, when the unmarked Lee Neville, got onto the end of a left wing corner and powered a header into the back of the Blues net.
Three minutes later, 'FC' doubled their lead, when, with Jamie Green AWOL from his goal, Jerome Wright charged into the left hand side of the Frickley box, before teeing up Matthew Wolfenden, who scored with the simplest of chances.
Things went from bad to worse for Frickley on 35 minutes, when they failed to deal with a throw in, into their area, which was flicked on and found it's way to Mike Norton, who headed home the visitors third from close range.
As the first half came to a close, the Blues should've got a goal back, but Luke Hinsley shot wide with just the 'United' keeper James Spencer to beat.
As the whistle went for half time, I think I can safely say, without any fear of contradiction whatsoever, that although the visitors deserved their three goal cushion, that was one of the worst ever 45 minute performances I've ever seen from a Frickley side ... and that's coming from someone who saw a Chris Waddle inspired Worksop Town thrash them 12-0, with 6 goals in each half , back in September 2000.
HT - Frickley 0 v FCUM 3
The second half was a stark contrast to the first, though it certainly seemed as if it was going to carry on in the same vein, when just three minutes after the restart, Jamie Green got caught in two minds when Micah Bleau played a back pass to him and the nervy keeper's hesitation gave Tom Greaves the chance to steal the ball and put the visitors four goals in front.
At this point some Frickley fans gave up and left.
I joked with one of them that he'd be kicking himself when he got home and it had finished four apiece.
He responded, by pointing to the sky and said "Watch them flying pigs don't shit on your car mate!"
Hmm, will the real Frickley Athletic please stand up?
What a turn around everybody who was still present then saw.
The home side, from then on in, were virtually camped out in FCUM's half for the remainder of the second half.
And though a comeback was never really on the cards, nobody had thought to let the Frickley players know that and out of nowhere, they tapped into a rich seam of self belief and started to build up a head of steam.
Jimmy Ghaichem and Chris Wood both came close to scoring, before  Jake Picton headed home a Terry Barwick cross to make it 1-4.
A group of youngsters behind the goal celebrated like Frickley had just won the FA Cup, while there was a barely audible murmur of approval from the remainder of the home fans. And up in the end of the grandstand that the main body of the FCUM fans had occupied, Picton's goal didn't even knock them out of their stride as they carried on singing regardless.
With 67 minutes on the clock, my 4-4, tongue in cheek, half time prediction, suddenly started to look possible, if still not probable, when Matthew Tierney pushed Liam Hardy in the back, inside the visitors box. As the Frickley sub Hardy, hit the deck, the referee pointed to the spot, before showing Tierney a yellow card. He had been a bit card happy prior to that foul, in what was never a dirty game, so he now had no choice but to caution the 'FC' number 4.
Chris wood sent James Spencer the wrong way and the Blues were back in the hunt at 2-4.
Spencer pulled off a great save from Ghaichem, with Hardy firing the rebound narrowly wide. If Frickley could've played this well in the first half, they certainly wouldn't need to be chasing the game now.
Spencer again, was on hand to turn Micah Bleau's header away at the expense of a corner.
On 90 minutes, FCUM were down to ten men when Tierney was dismissed for a second yellow card offence.
In the dying moments, James Spencer denied Jake Picton twice as the home side kept plugging away at the 'United' goal, but the visitors held onto their three points, in spite of Frickley giving it their all, for the final 40 minutes.
FT - Frickley 2 v FCUM 4
See the official Frickley Athletic website for video footage.