Frickley Athletic 0 Witton Albion 1
WITTON extended their unbeaten run to 20 games – an all time club record – at South Elmsall on Saturday.
It was a ground out victory against plucky relegation candidates.
Neil Wood replaced the injured Rob Lloyd in the line up. Scott Turner opened the goalmouth excitement but his shot was wide and Rod Thornley made Witton’s mark on the game soon after, but his lob was too high.
WINNING GOAL: In the 20th minute Liam Brownhill advanced down the left flank, pushed the ball to Thornley who directed an inch perfect cross-field pass to Kyle Wilson. He took a couple of paces before letting fly from the edge of the penalty area, the ball struck one of the two home defenders but the sheer force of the strike ensured full momentum was maintained and the net bulged.
WILSON AGAIN: Wilson went close just two minutes later with a headed attempt before his free kick was tipped over the bar by custodian Adam Nicklin.
Surprisingly for Frickley their tactics in the opening half-hour were allowing Albion to play as good football as they could manage on an unpredictable surface. Things got a bit rougher before the break though and, from one of a series of free kicks, Wood’s low attempt beat the defensive wall but Nicklin saved comfortably.
PATTERN CHANGES: The second period saw the hosts produce a lot of attacks as they strived for an equaliser. However, both Tony Barras and Brian Pritchard were equal to most of the forages and whenever the ball did get into the danger area Jon Kennedy handled cleanly as he headed for his 11th clean sheet of the campaign.
The only time the defence was breached saw a headed attempt strike the crossbar but the assistant’s flag was already raised for offside. On a rare Albion sortie forward Thornley won a corner with Wilson’s flag kick only partially cleared but Wood’s shot went past the left upright.
Liam Brownhill picked up his first yellow card in two seasons when he reacted to a challenge and deep into stoppage time Adam Warlow, who had soldiered trying to hold onto the ball, suddenly found himself in the clear but Nicklin did well to stop him from scoring.
BETTER THAN 1950: It was the Cheshire County League winning side from the 1949-50 that held Witton’s previous best unbeaten record.
Witton: Kennedy; Coo, Pritchard, Barras, Brownhill; Wilson, MacPherson, Wood, Brodie; Warlow, Thornley.