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Dorchester Town 1-1 Frome Town – Southern Premier League, Sat. 21st March

An inspired late equaliser from Lewis Haldane ensured that Frome Town came away with a  well deserved point, and with both sides struggling with the conditions, on the whole, it was a fair result.

After the well deserved point at Cambridge in midweek, Adrian Foster was able to keep a settled defence, Brandon Mundy moved back to the bench as Jon Vance came back from injury, and with Ben Thomson returning to the side, Frome effectively started with three strikers as he played alongside Ollie Taylor and Lewis Haldane.

A combination of a dry, bouncy pitch and a stiff wind made control difficult in this match, and on what seems like a very large pitch, both sides struggled to produce any moves of significance, with the final through ball often failing to hold up on the pitch.

Frome had the wind behind them at this stage, and a kick from Chitty caused problems for two defenders that led to a corner, and from that corner a Mark Cooper long range effort just cleared the bar, and in the 22nd a Vance free kick just failed to find the head of Rhys Baggridge at the far post.

Chitty was first called into action in the 30th to make a routine save, but then he made a superb save eight minutes later to tip a volley from Jamie Gleeson up and onto the bar before it went out for a corner.

Despite all the effort, that was the only real save of note from either keeper, and most of the travelling faithful felt that one goal would probably win this match, if it did in fact arrive.

The wind eased in the second half, and Haldane had a great chance to open the scoring after four  minutes, but as he cut inside and let fly, the ball cleared the crossbar by a couple of feet, and a few minutes later a slickly worked Dorchester free kick brought a good low save from Chitty.

Dorchester’s main avenue of attack seemed to get the ball out to Bardley Tarbuck on the right wing, and warning bells were sounded as he produced a cross that was headed just wide in the 70th, but four minutes later he tried again and this time his cross allowed the stooping Ben Watson to head up and into the corner for the opener.

Frome’s equaliser arrived 10 minutes later as a corner led to Chris McGrath finding the unmarked Mark Cooper on the left, and, although his driven cross was behind Haldane, he reached his right leg behind him and back heeled the ball goalwards, Alan Walker-Harris saved, but Haldane repeated the trick and this time the ball nestled in the net for a well deserved point.

The remaining minutes saw Dorchester probably look the more likely to snatch a winner, especially after substitute Ryan Murray was brought on and proved to be a long throw specialist, and three of these in quick succession caused problems in the Frome defence, but they stood their ground, broke quickly and the final whistle blew with Frome on the attack.

 

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