The Pole in the goal denies Reds a play-off place
Chaotic defending contributed to a damaging defeat with Reds now needing a dramatic upturn in form to resurrect their play-off hopes.
They shot themselves in the foot not once, but three times, and finished a well beaten side as Frickley obtained their obligatory good result at Borough Park.
Yet for a twenty minute period up to half time, Reds produced their best spell of football for weeks only to hand the initiative back to the visitors.
Trailing to what manager Derek Townsley described as, “two soft goals”, Reds reduced the arrears when Kyle May headed home powerfully via a Jake Simpson corner.
Scott Allison was then wrestled to the ground by Jameel Ible and the referee awarded the home side a penalty.
But top scorer, Allison, dragged his spot-kick wide with the ball brushing the foot of the upright on its way for a goal kick.
Had that gone in, it would have capped a good fight back from Reds and set-up a platform for a potential, and vital, win in the second half.
By then, they had gifted in-form Athletic two goals, both headed home by John Cyrus. His first came from a Steven Jeff’s free-kick when he rose unchallenged to direct the ball home, with just three minutes on the clock.
Another cross into the danger area, fifteen minutes later, was headed home from further out with Reds appealing that Tyler Williams had handled the ball as it entered the net. The officials’ take was the ball had already crossed the line.
In between the gift-wrapped goals, Joe McGee was thwarted by a fine reflex save from Polish goalkeeper, Sebastian Malkowski.
The Frickley ‘keeper then kept out an Anthony Wright shot and palmed away a McGee header. He, Wright and the ball did finish in the net on one occasion but the ‘Nat Lofthouse type goal’ was correctly disallowed.
Wright, who had an inspired first half, also saw a thumping shot rebound off the post with Malkowski, for once, helpless.
Reds carried the momentum into the second half, but Malkowski confidently caught a McGee snap shot then gathered Conor Tinnion’s attempt on the turn.
The pendulum swung the other way when Frickley were awarded a free-kick, from which Macauley Parkinson brought the best out of Jonny Jamieson. From the subsequent corner, the ball evaded everyone at the near post but the unmarked Thomas Davie saw his shot strike the other upright.
The decisive third Frickley goal was the result of more kamikaze defending as Williams tricked his way past Josh Calvert and Jake Simpson, before finding Jacob Hazel at the far post who converted with ease.
Rob Wilson went in search for his first goal for the club but was denied a late consolation when Malkowski again saved spectacularly.
“You cannot give any team a two goal lead and expect to win, but we fought back well only to concede another sloppy goal late in the game,” was a dejected Townsley’s post match retort.
Workington: Jamieson, Simpson, Smith, May, Calvert, Wright, Hebson (McCartney, 70), Wilson, Allison, McGee, Tinnion. Substitutes – Hammell, Studholme, Bethwaite, Mitchell (not used).
Frickley Athletic: Malkowski, Davie, Jeff, Parkinson, Cyrus, Ible, Akeroyd, Gooda, Hazel, Hinsley (Wood, 60), Williams. Substitutes – Stratford, Rose, Hood (not used).
Referee Dave Underwood, Hambleton
Bookings: Tinnion, Wilson (Workington), Parkinson, Akeroyd, Gooda (Frickley Athletic).