Frickley Athletic drop out of Northern Premier League for first time as relegation confirmed

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History of the wrong kind was made by Frickley Athletic when they fell out of the Northern Premier League for the first time as results did not go their way on the final day of the season.

While Dave Frecklington’s men battled to a 2-2 draw away to play-offs bound Shildon in their last game of the season, wins elsewhere for Sheffield FC, Bridlington Town and Lincoln United meant that the Blues ended the campaign second from bottom.

There were brief hopes of a reprieve when it was announced that Yorkshire Amateur, who finished in tenth, were being booted out of the league after falling foul of ground regulation rules. Instead of automatic relegation Frickley could have gone into a relegation play-off, but it has been decided that the bottom two would go down.

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A statement on the league website stated: “In the East Division, bottom placed Pickering Town have been relegated, along with 18th placed Frickley Athletic.

Josh Scott scored an equaliser for Frickley Athletic at Shildon, but his goal proved in vain.Josh Scott scored an equaliser for Frickley Athletic at Shildon, but his goal proved in vain.
Josh Scott scored an equaliser for Frickley Athletic at Shildon, but his goal proved in vain.

“Yorkshire Amateur will also be relegated following a decision by the FA Alliance Committee that they would be relegated from Step 4 for their failure to comply with the Ground Grading E criteria.

“An appeal has heard by the FA Appeal Board on Friday, but was unanimously dismissed on all grounds, and we are now able to confirm that unfortunately, Yorkshire Amateur will be relegated from the NPL.”

It means that Frickley’s long stay in the Northern Premier has come to an end and they will likely play in the Northern Counties East League next season.

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The club faces further upheaval as they are looking for a new chairman after Stuart Highfield announced that he has quit his post

On the pitch they tried to the bitter end and were unlucky not to have won at Shildon, but even if they had it would not have made a difference in the final table with all their rival teams winning – Bridlington thanks to a last minute penalty.

The writing was on the wall when Frickley were two down after 66 minutes, but they produced a spirited finish to their time in the Northern Premier when Devonte Morton – after earlier having an effort ruled out for offside – pulled a back.

Josh Scott then equalised with six minutes to go, but try as they might they could not quite force home a winner in a frantic finish and the players knew their fate when they walked off the pitch.

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Frickley's Westfield Lane ground, meanwhile, is hosting a charity football game on Sunday, May 8, to raise funds for Macmillan in Yorkshire

The game will feature a Yorkshire Athletic Charity team against a Supporting Charities line-up.

Gates open at 12pm with a 2pm kick off and admission is £5, with under 16s free entry.

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A fun packed day is promised with food and drink available, bouncy castles for the kids, food van on site with balloons and sweets stalls. There will be raffles throughout the day with some great prizes on offer.