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Frome Town 4-2 Histon – Southern Premier League, Sat. 4rd Jan.

In a hugely entertaining match, Frome Town rushed into a three goal lead, Histon pulled it back to a 3-2 and after a a nail biting second half, only a late goal from Lewis Haldane finally secured the priceless three points for the home side.  

Frome were without the services of Brandon Mudy (suspension) and Ben Thomson and Kris Miller who had both picked up injuries in the match at Chippenham, but were pleased to see Ben Worlock fit to start the match, and with Ollie Taylor returning to the fold and Jake Harris returning to the club from Weston-Super-Mare following a successful loan period a couple of years ago, the squad had a balanced look to it for this match.

The action started right from the kick off and after Histon had volleyed over following a free kick, Ollie Taylor burst through on the right for Frome and let fly with a shot across the face of the visitor’s goal, and with Lewis Haldane bringing a finger tip save from Denzel Gerrar, there was no shortage of incident in the first three minutes.

Frome carried on looking good and in the 8th minute, a perfect ball from Worlock set Ricky Hulbert free on the right and as he cut in and pulled the ball back for Haldane, only a desperate goal line block prevented the opening goal, and with Taylor robbing Gerrar and just shooting wide, the chances were coming thick and fast.

The opening goal arrived in the 14th minute as Histon goalkeeper Gerrar came off his line only to  hit a mistimed clearance that found Matt Smith about 25 yards from goal. Smith immediately shot for the empty net, but his low effort was never going to trouble the keeper until he slipped on the pitch, fell over and the ball somehow bobbled across and over his body before trickling into the unguarded net.

Frome continued to apply the pressure with Worlock instigating much of the good stuff in midfield, and it was clear that every player in the side looked confident and comfortable on the ball and the football was probably the best Frome have played this season.

The second goal arrived in the 31st minute as Worlock played a delightful ball to Taylor who then set Rodriguez free on the left and the winger showed his confidence and skill as he cut inside, went past two defenders and shot low into the corner of the net from just inside the penalty area.

Frome made it 3-0 in the 40th minute as Worlock and Cooper combined brilliantly on the right and as Cooper stormed into the box, he produced the perfect low cross to allow Taylor to slot home from close range and send the home fans into delirium.

However, Histon pulled one back in the second minute of injury time as a left wing free kick was perfectly flighted into the Frome penalty area and Histon’s captain Stuart Wall made no mistake with a powerful header.

Whatever Histon had at half time, they should bottle it and sell it, because the side that emerged after the break bore no resemblance to the side that had looked tentative and wary throughout the whole of the first half. They looked much sharper and were dominating possession and territory for the first 15 minutes, and after Gerrar had produced a super save to deny Haldane after a brilliant solo run, they pulled it back to 3-2 as a ball from the right hurtled across the Frome goal, came off the body of Ed Baldy and was poked home from close range by  Mateus Kuzinski.

At this stage the match could have gone either way, but Frome were thrown a lifeline in the 65th as Histon were reduced to 10 men as Rogan McGeorge was shown an immediate straight red for a heavy tackle from behind on Matt Smith that left the midfielder requiring treatment.

Even with 10 men, Histon were still going for the equaliser, but they were tending to leave gaps at the back that Frome could exploit, and every time they came forward they looked dangerous, with Jack Vallis heading over in the 69th, Rodriguez bringing a save from Gerrar a minute later and Haldane setting up Worlock for a shot that flew over soon afterwards.

Ollie Taylor made way for Jake Harris in the 74th and almost immediately he produced a perfect ball into the patch of Worlock who was again denied by a good save from Gerrar, but even though Frome were carving out chances the defence were having to work overtime to keep Histon out, and Baldy made a great double save to preserve Frome’s advantage.

With the match finely poised, Frome eventually made it 4-2 and sealed the points in the 88th minute as Worlock set Smith free on the right, and as he cut into the box, he produced the perfect low pull back for Haldane to slide in and push the ball into the net much to the delight of the home fans.

What a match, what a result and what a performance from a side that had looked dejected and dispirited only 48 hours previously at Chippenham.

Aaron Rodriguez  was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” by match sponsor Zippy, and it’s fair to say that the young winger today showed that he can cause problems to any side with his pace and control.