The Coasters came away from Yorkshire with their unbeaten run stretched to 18 games and another hard earned three points in the bag.
The Frickley pitch is renowned around the league for its uneven bounce and it was never going to be an easy place for the team to go and play their expansive style but a very professional performance saw them come out on top.
The Coasters started well and earned a corner within the first five minutes but could not make the most of the opportunity and it was Frickley through their best player Fernando Moke who had the first shot of any real note but it was straight at Ben Hinchliffe. The Coasters responded quickly and Richie Allen beat his man and put a cross in but under pressure Andy Russell could not find the target.
The next chance fell to Sean Cooke from a knock on from Matt Blinkhorn but his shot went well wide and Blinkhorn was again involved this time as the recipient from a Mike Barnes cross but his shot hit a defender and was cleared. The Coasters continued to make half chances and once again Blinkhorn managed to get a shot off but he was well wide of the mark.
It was half an hour however before either keeper was forced into any real save and it Moke for Frickley who made Hinchliffe react well to keep out a shot from a tight angle. The sides were fairly even heading toward half time and both again created half chances from free kicks but with no end product and it was in the final minute of the half that the Coasters next really threatened as a Blinkhorn header from a Barnes cross went just over with Frickley keeper Simpson rooted to the spot but the teams headed into the dressing rooms locked at 0-0.
The Coasters got the perfect start to the second half as Frickley needlessly conceded a corner within the first twenty seconds of the restart and the home side never really relieved the pressure and from a resulting free kick the ball bobbled around the Frickley box and Sean Cooke turned and shot into the bottom corner past Simpson to give the visitors the lead.
The home side almost responded immediately as Moke shot just wide after creating space for himself around the box but the Coasters were not fazed and went back down the other end and created two good opportunities in sixty seconds. Firstly a Barnes cross skimmed the heads of two players and forced Simpson into a sharp save low down as it made its way toward goal and then Blinkhorn had another shot blocked in a good position.
On fifty six minutes Simpson fluffed an attempted clearance and only succeeded in finding Blinkhorn forty yards out and his first time effort toward an open goal went agonisingly the wrong side of the post. Coasters skipper Brad Barnes was involved in the major talking point of the game as he became involved in a fracas with Moke and the home supporters felt that referee Wild dealt with him leniently after he appeared to put his shoulder into the body of Moke and he received a yellow card rather than red.
This seemed to spur the home side on and they were awarded a penalty as the referee seemed to penalise Andy Russell for a tug on a home players shirt, Frickley’s penalty woes against the Coasters following their recent cup defeat from the penalty spot against the same opponents continued however as keeper Hinchliffe saved Sam Denton’s attempt. The Coasters then regained control of the game and manager Dave Challinor replaced Booth and Mike Barnes with Harry Winter and Danny Lloyd to keep the pressure in midfield upon their opponents.
The next chance fell to Blinkhorn as Winter fed him in the box and his sublime turn put him one on one with Simpson but his shot was well saved by the Frickley keeper. Soon after Richie Allen’s cross drifted on the breeze and Simpson had to palm it over the bar as it was about to fall in and Russell again met the corner but once again could not control the header.
Karl Noon came on for his Coasters debut with eight minutes to play and Frickley pressed for an equaliser but as the game entered the final minute of the ninety the Coasters broke and Richie Allen ran thirty yards and sent an unstoppable shot past Simpson to clinch the points. The Coasters saw out the five added minutes and in a tough game deserved to come away from Yorkshire with three hard fought points against opponents who never stopped working and showed a lot of spirit throughout.
“I thought we played well in the first half and just lacked a little quality in the final third, it was not easy to create chances and tougher to take them and we felt if we kept on creating we would eventually stick one away. We got a great start to the second half and scored immediately and the first fifteen minutes of the second half I thought we were fantastic. However if the penalty does not get saved it could be a different game but it was a much deserved win and a win is a win.”
Following two moves on transfer deadline day the Coasters squad is now set for the final run in and Challinor said: “I am more than comfortable with what we have got, it is a competitive squad and we spoke before the game saying everyone will be required. Our aim has not changed we need to win as many as we can and see where that puts us”