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Hungerford Town 0-0 Frome Town – Southern Premier League, Sat 8th March

FROME Town’s third clean sheet in a row saw them gain a share of the points in a very even hard fought 0-0 draw at Hungerford Town.

Playing down the slope, Hungerford started at a frantic pace, and only a superb clearing header from Jack Vallis and an unbelievable low save from Darren Chitty prevented them from taking a lead in the second minute, but then Frome broke and as Ricky Hulbert raced clear and shot low he was denied by the legs of the diving Paul Strudley.

As the match settled, it became an even affair with Frome looking lively. Kris Miller latched onto a deflected Matt Smith shot to hit a low hard cross into the box that was deflected for a corner, the Jon Vance set him free on the right to hit a crisp shot over the bar from a tight angle. Hungerford’s Stefan Brown had a big chance in the 28th, but hooked his shot well wide from 15 yards out and after a Josh Ford clearance had been charged down on the left, a dangerous cross whistled across the face of the Frome goal without an attacker getting on the end of it. Jack Vallis flicked a Jon Vance free kick just wide of the home post in the 32nd minute, but the half ended goalless.

The frantic start of the first half wasn’t repeated at the start of the second, and with Frome now playing down the slope, they looked more able to control the midfield with Hungerford now looking for breakaway attacks.

Frome’s midfield were always looking for openings and repeatedly tried attacking down both wings, but the Hungerford defence is built on a strong central defence pairing and Ben Thomson and Ricky Hulbert were struggling to find space against the close physical marking.

Ben Wood’s delivery from free kicks, corners and throws always looked capable of producing something, but the ball was always just out of reach or being dealt with by the capable home defence.

As time ticked away, Frome started throwing defenders up as they went for the winner, but the chance never really presented itself, neither side could carve out a clear opening and both goal keepers had a reasonably trouble free afternoon.

Tim Stephenson was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award”  for another fine performance in the heart of a hard working defence.