FRICKLEY ATHLETIC manager Karl Rose admits his Blues side owe tonight’s Evo-Stik Premier Division opponents Buxton a bit of payback.
Rose’s troops welcome their high-flying Derbyshire rivals, in second place in the table, with memories of their 4-0 drubbing at Silverlands on September 9 firmly in their minds.
That defeat left the Blues languishing towards the bottom of the table with just one win from their opening eight league matches with just five points to their name from a possible 24.
But since that abject result, Rose’s side have enjoyed an impressive renaissance and have pocketed 13 points from their last seven games, the upshot being they now reside in a much healthier 14th place in the table and with far more wind in their sails.
Rose says Buxton will provide a further barometer of their progress and they hope to display that this evening and exorcise a few ghosts in the process.
Rose said: “If we turn up and put our best performance on, we can give anybody a game.
“We played Skelmersdale United, who are top, last week and still feel absolutely aggrieved that we did not get something from that match.
“We have played Skem’ twice and have done well and it will now be the second time we have played Buxton and for me, in the game at their place, we were well in the game at one-nil down and were dominating.
“But the second goal killed us and that was the low point of our season really.
“Since that game, we have got ourselves in a different mentality and a playing a different brand of football.
“It will be a big test for us to see how far we have come, but also a big opportunity to show Buxton what a real Frickley side are about.
“Credit to Buxton. They are good at what they do and know what they are about.
“And I am sure they are looking forward to bouncing back after their performance on Saturday when they lost 2-0.
“But we are chomping at the bit to right the wrongs of what we thought happened with our performance there.
“No-one in this league is unbeatable and we are looking forward to the game.”
Frickley head into the game on the back of a 2-0 success over another Derbyshire-based side in Belper Town, thanks to a brace from Gavin Allott.
It extended their encouraging form which has seen them lose just twice in their past seven matches with Rose believing there is plenty more to come from his side.
On his side’s showing against Belper, he added: “It is not as if they have been getting beaten out of sight and we showed the right attitude and mindset going into the game and the intensity levels and the way we applied ourselves was absolutely first class.
“We got out of the blocks and dominated the first half completely and I was just disappointed that we weren’t out of sight. We just needed a bit more ruthlessness in the box.
“But overall, I was delighted as it was a very good, well organised team performance. We were professional in most of what we did and kept a clean sheet in a potential banana skin game.
“Whereas earlier in the season, we were naive, now I think you can replace that with the word professional.
“It is a different type of pressure. But we dealt with it and played some great football and created a lot of chances.
“We have a lot of competition for places now and can’t rest on our laurels.
“We are on a good run and in the last seven or eight matches, we have been playing well and must make sure more performances led to results now.”
The Blues only injury doubt is Luke Hornsey and Rose will make a decision on his involvement ahead of the game.
Northern Counties East League Premier Division activity tonight sees fifth-from-bottom Liversedge, without a win in six league matches at Clayborn this term, welcome Bridlington.
Meanwhile, a real basement scrap sees Nostell MW play host to Glasshoughton Welfare, with the pair having won just two league games between them in 26 matches so far this term.
In Division One, mid-table Selby Town play host to second-placed Clipstone and another derby encounter sees sixth-placed Hemsworth MW call in at Knaresborough Town, with Welfare able to jump to fourth with victory.