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Bedford Town 0-2 Frome Town – Calor League Southern Premier Division, Saturday 22nd March

A GOAL in each half enabled  Frome Town to climb into a comfortable 14th place in the league, while the 2-0 away victory consigned Bedford Town to relegation from the Southern Premier League.

Frome’s squad for this game was missing Tim Stephenson (unavailable) and Ben Thomson (groin injury), but Jack Metcalf returned to the squad alongside Aidan Kirby and new signing (from Gillingham) Phil Ormrod.

On a sunny, but windy day, the match was never going to be easy to predict, with Bedford having a new management team in place and nothing to lose as relegation has been almost a certainty for several months. The choice of referee also promised to be a talking point as Frome had reasons to question a few decisions the last time he officiated at the away match at Chesham.

Frome had the perfect start as Rhys Baggridge got his head to a perfect Jon Vance free kick to score with a looping header in the 6th minute, and they went close ten minutes later as Matt Groves went close to tucking home a Ben Wood cross only for the effort to be cleared off the line.

Frome continued to look the better side as the pressed forward, with Kris Miller and Ben Wood changing wings to cause the hosts problems, but Bedford went close on the half hour as a well delivered corner was flicked on and headed off the Frome line by Vance.

The chance encouraged Bedford and three minutes later a low shot from Rob Parker brought a good save from Darren Chitty, who again had to be alert shortly after as he cleared up after Baggridge had made an error of judgement.

As half time approached, Ricky Hulbert had a couple of chances to extend the lead, as, firstly, he lobbed the ball just over the bar after being set up by Wood, then getting on the end of a long Wood throw that had been flicked on by Vallis, but the scoreline remained at 1-0 and Frome deserved to be in the lead on the balance of play.

A lively start to the second half saw Hulbert and Smith both go close, but then Chitty produced a great save to deny Jordan Davis as he pushed the shot away for a corner, then the game seemed to be producing chances and saves at both ends, but Frome effectively made sure of the points in the 71st minute as a long Wood throw was flicked on by Josh Ford and substitute Brandon Mundy fired home right footed.

Bedford’s Keiran Birch was denied by a double save from Chitty in the 77th minute, but Frome finished the stronger of the two sides as both Aidan Kirby and Ben Wood went close, and at the end of the match, the score line was probably a fair reflection of the match.

Rhys Baggridge was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award” for another goal to add to his tally and a strong performance at the heart of the defence. Crowd: 174. Entertainment Value: 4