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St. Albans 4-0 Frome Town – Calor League Southern Premier Division, Saturday 4th January

THIS match was one of only two Southern League games to survive the weather.

Frome Town probably wished it hadn’t as they conceded one first half and three second half goals to lose to play-off chasing St Alban’s City by a 4-0 scoreline.

With centre half Tim Stephenson and left back Mark Cooper both suspended, Frome’s defence took on a new look as new signing Jack Vallis played alongside Josh Ford in the centre, Rhys Baggridge moved from left back to right back, Ryan Elliott dropped to the subs bench and Brandon Mundy started at left back.

The match started with the hosts pushing forward and giving Frome no time on the ball, but the defence started well with both Josh Ford and Jack Vallis  making good interceptions.

The ninth minute saw a great build up on the floor by Frome allowing Matt Groves to tee up Ben Wood, who then rolled the ball into Aaron Ledgister, and his first time strike was tipped over the bar by Paul Bastock. St Albans replied in the 15th as John Frendo rolled the ball back to Jamal Lowe from the far post, but his first time shot was held comfortably by Chitty

St Albans then started to get into their stride and Frome were almost caught out by a throw in and ball arrived at Richard Graham on the edge of area but he sliced his shot well wide.

A dangerous St Albans free kick was clipped in the 23rd minute, John Frendo rose above everyone and headed the ball back across the goal but Rhys Baggridge reacted quickly  to head over own bar, with Darren Chitty then coming to the rescue to save from Frendo.

Ben Wood brought a save from Paul Bastock in the 27th minute, but two minutes later Frome were behind as an outstanding low cross from Howard Hall was converted by Jamal Lowe who prodded the ball past Chitty.

The hosts should have doubled their lead a minute later as the ball went through under Ledgister’s foot allowing David Keenleyside a run on goal, but he shot wide with only Chitty to beat. The pressure continued and Ledgister denied the hosts with two blocks and then Chitty saved well with feet to deny James Comley, then Keenleysides’ cross was cleared by Baggridge but the ball was headed back in and Frendo almost slid home at the far post.

Two goals in three minutes just after half time finally killed off Frome’s chances, the first arriving in the 50th minute as Lowe produced a peach of a pass to Keenleyside allowing him to beat two defenders and loop the ball over Chitty with the aid of a deflection.

The third arrived shortly after as a through ball from Frendo allowed James Comley to shoot home with ease from close range, and Frome were now effectively out of the game.

Chitty saved superbly in the 62nd to deny Lowe, and then Matt Groves was fouled when clean through on goal, but the referee gave nothing, and Frome’s day was well and truly done and dusted five minutes later as Frendo rounded off a fine performance with a goal as he waltzed through the defence to score his 24th goal of the season at the near post.

Frome’s only real chance of the match came in the 75th minute as a great cross from Ben Wood allowed Ricky Hulbert to thunder a shot against the home cross bar, but then St Albans should really have score a fifth in injury time but a striker shot wide from close range.

Matt Smith  was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award” for a tireless performance in midfield. Crowd: 363. Entertainment Value: 3.