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Frome Town 1-0 Folland Sports – FA Cup 2nd QR Replay, Weds. 1st Oct.

Following on from Saturday’s slightly disappointing draw at Folland, this match saw Frome produce one of their best performances of the season, and the match was fittingly decided by one of the goals of the season from Matt Smith.

Both sides fielded the same 11 players that had started the previous match apart from the welcome return of Jon Vance to the Frome line up after injury, and on a calm, cool night and on an excellent surface, the match started to see who would be hosting Boreham Wood on 11th October.

Frome were straight into their rhythm right from the kick off and after a Jon Vance free kick had thumped against the Folland cross bar in the 3rd minute, they swarmed forward in waves, and the 12th minute saw a great chance as Ben Thomson’s strength allowed him to win a header at the second attempt, and as Mark Francis latched onto the knock down, and only a great save from Ryan Gosney denied him the opening goal.

A Rhys Baggridge left wing cross found Ricky Hulbert unmarked in the penalty area in the 26th, but his guided header failed to hit the target, but then Frome took the lead a minute later as Kris Miller and Hulbert combined on the right to produce an opening, and as the ball ricocheted around in the area, it came out to Smith who produced a stunning volley from 25 yards that flew into the net off the inside of the far post for a great goal.

The rest of the first half saw more of the same, with Frome almost completely in control but up against a well organised Folland defence playing in front of a very good goalkeeper, and as a result, the pressure led to half,  rather than clear cut chances.

The second half saw more of the same, with Frome always driving forward, but Folland now starting to show that they could be dangerous on the break and Darren Chitty was being brought more into the game than he was in the first half.

Frome went very close in the 54th as Vance set Miller free on the right and as he pulled the ball back from the dead ball line, Francis somehow managed to get under the ball from five yards out and it ballooned over the bar.

Frome were playing some lovely football now, with the entire side producing patient passing football, and this led to another chance in the 67th as Thomson did really well on the left and pulled the ball back for Francis who was again denied by another superb Gosney save.

Folland went close in the 71st as an unmarked header from a free kick flew past the post, but then Frome again went close as slick passing set up two chances in a row for Francis who was again thwarted by last ditch defending and excellent goalkeeping.

Smith almost produced a second contender for goal of the season in the 77th as another stunning strike from 25 yards buried itself in the side netting with the crowd thinking that he had scored, and then Thomson’s strength allowed him to go through four tackles before shooting wide a few minutes later.

As the clock ticked down, Folland threw everyone (including the goalkeeper ) up to try and snatch the equaliser, and two late free kicks saw Chitty prove how good he is under pressure, but eventually the whistle blew.

Frome now look forward to a home tie with Conference South leaders Boreham Wood and Folland should be congratulated for their part in an excellent match.

Matt Smith was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” by match sponsors Red Devil Surfacing Ltd.