Kidsgrove Athletic picked up a rather useful point at Frickley Athletic as these two playoff dreamers drew 0-0.
Both teams had fabulous chances to snatch all three points with the Grove going close through Jiri Boula who rattled the crossbar, while Bradley Wells had the best chance for the hosts.
The side from West Yorkshire did have the ball in the back of Kieran Harrison’s net in the second half, but it was ruled out as Jonathon Margetts had handled the ball in the area.
It was Kidsgrove who had the best opportunities in the opening exchanges of the game with Ruben Wiggins-Thomas firing just wide of the goal before Boula rattled the crossbar from just outside the area.
Bradley Wells had Frickley’s first chance of the afternoon when Harrison decided to set up a quick counter-attack for the Grove, but he could only kick the ball into the back of James Butler. The ball fell to Wells. However, Harrison recovered to deny Frickley the opening goal of the afternoon.
Just before the interval Crewe loanee Regan Griffiths almost got his first goal for Kidsgrove when he had a free-kick from around 25-yards out. His powerful effort forced Frickley goalkeeper Tom Jackson to parry the ball away, which the hosts cleared before a Kidsgrove forward could get on the end of it.
Jacob Hazel scored a hat-trick when these two teams met at the Autonet Insurance Stadium back in November. However, he was kept a lot quieter this time with the Kidsgrove defence marshalling him well. The only real chance he had was expertly saved by Harrison from a tight angle.
Frickley thought they had taken the lead on 77 minutes when Margett’s bundled the ball into the back of the net from a short corner. However, Margetts had used his hands to score with and, the referee ruled the goal out.
Wiggins-Thomas hasn’t scored since the 21st December and, he had an incredible chance to break that duck with just five minutes to go when a low cross from Rhys Thompson evaded his outstretched legs. It was a chance akin to Paul Gascoigne against Germany in Euro 96.
Thompson then had the final chance of the afternoon when Griffiths played a long ball into the area. Thompson beat the offside trap but couldn’t get any power into the header which the onrushing Jackson was grateful to seize. Had Thompson got any power into it then the ball would have hit the back of the net.
In the end, a draw was probably the fairest outcome for both sides as they look to keep their bids for the playoffs going as we enter a crucial stage in the season.
After the game, I spoke to Ryan Austin about the game.
While Ben Durber spoke to Kidsgrove goalkeeper Kieran Harrison about the game.
Frickley Athletic: Jackson, McGowan, Williams, Hotte, Davie, Hughes, Blake, Hollingworth, Margetts, Hazel (King, 81), Wells (Thomas, 72)
Unused Subs: Mclauchlan, O’Reilly, Bowring
Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Blake, Morris, Griffiths, Duffy, Butler, France (Thompson, 69), Williamson, Wiggins – Thomas, Jepson, Boula ( Rumenio, 75)
Unused Subs: Hall, Chesters