Brighouse Town aiming to bounce back against resurgent Frickley Athletic

Aaron Martin misses a chance to put Brighouse Town ahead against Stocksbridge Park Steels. PIC: Steven Ambler.
Aaron Martin misses a chance to put Brighouse Town ahead against Stocksbridge Park Steels. PIC: Steven Ambler.

Brighouse Town are hoping to bounce back from their shock 1-0 setback at Stocksbridge Park Steels last weekend when they face a resurgent Frickley Athletic side on Saturday (3.0).

Frickley are a different prospect to the team that lost 3-0 against Town at Westfield Lane back in September.

Adam Jones (left) and Tyler Williams (right). PIC: Steven Ambler.

Adam Jones (left) and Tyler Williams (right). PIC: Steven Ambler.

After a poor first half of the season, the Blues have rediscovered their form under new manager Martin McIntosh, a former coach at Huddersfield Town and Evo-Stik Premier side Buxton.

They have climbed from the lower reaches of the Evo-Stik NPL East to 12th and now sit 14 points behind Town, who won in South Emsall with goals from Aaron Martin, Gabriel Johnson and Ousman Cham.

Frickley went unbeaten in January and drew 1-1 at home to Lincoln United last week after taking the lead after just 33 seconds through Ant Wilson.

McIntosh has brought in several new players and parted company with one very high-profile player in Gary McSheffrey, a former Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Coventry City and Doncaster Rovers player.

Meanwhile, much-travelled striker Jacob Hazel has proved a real handful for a number of defences this season.

Athletic boast a formidable defence with Jameel Ible, formerly with Guiseley, Scarborough Athletic, York City and Salford City, the key man in the Frickley rearguard.

Town had to take the field at Stocksbridge without two of their most resolute defenders.

Skipper Adam Field was still recovering from a knee injury while James Hurtley sustained a back injury during the 3-0 home win over Tadcaster Albion.

“I just didn’t sleep on the night after the Tadcaster match and just hoped the inflamed area would ease during the week, enabling me to play,” said Hurtley ahead of last Saturday’s game.

“However, while I might have put my hand up to play, it was better to give the offending area another seven days.”

His deputy, 20-year-old Huddersfield Town player Ramarni Edmonds-Green, had a very commanding game at the back in his first start since joining on loan from the Terriers.

The Brighouse coaching staff and supporters were unanimous in their praise of his performance.

Edmonds-Green is set to remain at Brighouse until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Jordan Eli, has returned to the Premier League outfit this week at the club’s request.

The Huddersfield loanee made a total of five appearances for Town, starting twice while playing in one cup game.

There was no place in the Town squad in south Yorkshire for new signing Hass Gorji from Lancaster City.

On Saturday afternoon, Vill Powell’s side went behind in the 58th minute when Rory Coleman took advantage of a hesitant Town defence to find the unmarked Luke Mangham from a free-kick on the left.

Morpeth Town moved seven points clear at the top of the table following a 2-0 win over Sheffield FC.

“I am disappointed obviously,” said Powell in reaction to the defeat.

“Stocksbridge battled well, for every blade of grass, which I thought they were going to do. They stayed compact and kept themselves in the game and when you do that you have always got a chance.

“From our perspective, we weren’t really at it. We had lots of chances, several good opportunities that we should be finishing.

“But, aside from that, I thought we were really poor on the ball.”

Powell added: “We didn’t get much service up to the front two, they were just constantly fighting for balls against a centre-half partnership that were really strong in the air.

“It is really disappointing, but there are no complaints from me, they deserved their victory in the end.”