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Cirencester Town 3-1 Frome Town – Southern Premier League, Sat. 15th Nov.

FROME were left empty handed after a fourth successive defeat. 

There were times in this match when it looked like Frome might get something out of it, but in the end, Cirencester showed they wanted it more and won 3-1 despite playing the last quarter with ten men after Aidan Bennet was shown a second yellow.

With Frome’s disciplinary record resulting in suspensions for Mark Cooper, Jon Vance, Kris Miller and Josh Klein Davies, and Ben Thomson still not fully recovered from a hamstring injury, this match at 7th placed Cirencester was always going to be difficult, and would have still been difficult even with a fully available squad.

On a decent surface and in front of a sparse crowd, the match kicked off with Frome playing up the slope and the early sparring provided no incidents of note, but Frome went very close in the 13th as Lewis Haldane latched onto a flicked header, took the ball round Glyn Garner and managed to pull it back towards the goal, only for Kyle Pitts to just manage to clear the ball off the line, with the small travelling support claiming that it had crossed the line, but not managing to influence the officials enough to award a goal.

Cirencester took the lead in the 18th minute with their first meaningful attack, as  breakaway led to a free kick five yards outside the Frome area and centre forward Josh Parsons hit the ball low and hard right into the corner of the Frome net, with Darren Chitty perhaps just getting a hand to it.

Parsons continued to cause Frome problems with his movement and positioning, and he should have done better with an unmarked header from a corner in the 23rd, but on the whole, Frome were as good as the hosts in the first half and Haldane was again unlucky in the 32nd as he once again rounded Garner, but was unable to get enough on the goal effort and this time it was cleared with several yards to spare.

Frome had a let off within seconds of the second half starting as Parsons blazed over from a good position, but then Frome equalised as Haldane used his strength to shrug off the attentions of Mark Pritchett, and ran onto a ball from Matt Smith to shoot home low under Garner.

At this stage, the match was a much faster affair than in the first half and it looked like it could go either way, with Frome always looking likely to score if Haldane could get decent service, but Cirencester probably looking the better going forward with Parsons and Ed Williams proving to be a handful for the Frome defence with their pace and ball skills.

However, after Ricky Hulbert had to be substituted for injury, Cirencester began to move into the driving seat and they took the lead in the 73rd as an Ellis Dunton  long throw from the right wing was headed on and Gethin Jones rose and planted his far post header past Chitty.

Cirencester’s Aidan Bennett was shown a second yellow in the 78th minute for a challenge that saw substitute Cameron Brown flying up in the air and having to be substituted himself a few minutes later, but in truth, Cirencester hardly seemed to notice the lack of numbers, tackled harder, won more balls and generally made the Frome wide players look a little too light weight  for the fray.

The match was sealed in the 88th minute as the impressive Josh Parsons carved through the Frome defence only to be taken down by a combination of Jack Vallis and Darren Chitty, and he picked himself up and scored low to Chitty’s left from the penalty spot to complete Frome’s misery.

Ricky Hulbert  was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” and prior to his injury, he was having his best match for quite a while, with a free-ranging role supporting Lewis Haldane.