Groundhopping doesn't get tougher than this.(that's it)
Ask anyone in northern non league circles their opinion of a visit to Frickley, and they will fairly universally wrinkle their nose and hold court on an unsavoury trip or two. Indeed, I have acquaintances of a Barnet persuasion who still talk in hushed tones of trips to the heart of the Miner's Strike in the early 80's. And these are battle hardened guys who have visited Runcorn.
It's fair to say it isn't the most salubrious of areas. Westfield Lane, which leads to the ground, has certainly seen better days. But moves appear to be afoot to at least save it from any further use as a set for a post-apocolyptic hell. And an evening kick off protects those of a more sensitive disposition.
Things started well. A goal within the first couple of minutes for the visitors. And shortly after, their hosts grabbed an equaliser. From thereon-in it was pretty much one-way traffic, with Frickley not quite laying siege to the Ossett goal, but definitely looking the more likely to score. To this end they hit the woodwork twice in the first half, and were they not forced in to making all three of their substitutions within the first 40 minutes, I'm fairly sure they would have pushed on to win the game comfortably.
The Ossett left back may as well have pulled out a deck chair, so un-needed were his defensive skills. His mate on the right flank was kept slightly busier, but if they don't have them recovering on the injury list right now, the Frickley management must surely be scouring the land for some wingers. Guys just to stand on the flanks would be an improvement, even if they were never passed to.
A point apiece at full time will have pleased Ossett more than Frickley, but given the early disruption to the side, Frickley should be happy enough.
For the record, the locals were no more noticeable than anywhere else BTFM has visited. For what one reader cited as being a feisty Yorkshire derby, the atmosphere was certainly mellow. And despite the fears of one noted cross-dressing blogger of ill-repute, car and contents were all exactly where I left them.
Frickley may not be the most welcoming-looking place you will come across. But it's a long way from the Millwall of the North too.