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Frome Town 0-0 Chippenham Town – Evo-Stik Premier, Monday 6th April.

On a lovely day and in front of a decent Bank Holiday crowd, the lack of goals was a disappointment, though on the plus side, Frome looked a lot more committed and organised than they had in their defeat by Hitchin two days earlier.

Manager Adrian Foster kept exactly the same squad and starting line up as he had on Saturday, with the anticipated return of Ben Thomson once again delayed by a calf strain. The stiff wind and bouncy pitch were always going to have an effect on this match and the side that could master the conditions were always going to have the edge.

After an even start, Darren Chitty was called into action to make a great double save in the 10th minute after Mark Cooper had fouled on the edge of the box and the Chippenham free kick had been hit low and hard into the box.

Frome’s first chance arrived in the 12th minute as Rhys Baggridge headed a Jon Vance free kick over the bar, and with both sides tending to favour the long ball, Chitty was relieved to see the ball fly high and wide after  he had come way out of his goal to challenge Charlie Griffiths on the right wing.

Frome’s best chance of the first half arrived in the 22nd minute as Ollie Taylor cut inside and unleashed a low shot that bounced just in front of Kent Kaupinnen, and with Lewis Haldane arriving to pick up the rebound, it seemed that he must score, but his right foot shot across goal missed the far post and the chance was gone.

The rest of the half provided little in the way of chances, with Chippenham probably shading territory and possession but failing to make any impression on a Frome defence that was doing a good job keeping things tight at the back.

Frome started the second half brightly with a move that ended with a long range shot from Matt Smith, but then Chippenham took control for a spell and a series of corners and throws ended with a flicked shot from Alex Ferguson that hit the Frome bar and eventually went out for a corner.

As the storm subsided, Frome began to get more possession and a kind of stalemate arose, with both sides struggling to put together any moves of substance and the game often compressed into small areas on the pitch.

Chippenham had a few shooting chances in the second half, but Iain Harvey, Jack Odam and Charlie Griffiths all failed to get their heads over the ball and all the attempts flew a long way over the bar.

As the final whistle approached, Frome carved out a golden opportunity to take all three points as Taylor picked up on a loose ball following a corner and powered past his marker to get to the dead ball line and pull it back, but amazingly the ball went clear across the crowded Chippenham penalty area with nobody getting a touch and the chance went.

The final whistle went soon afterwards and the home fans would probably have settled for a draw at the start of play, though with Arlesey winning today, it means that Frome are now four points clear of the drop zone with three games to play, two away and one at home.

Ollie Tylor was awarded the  H&B Tyres Man of the Match award by match sponsors Hunter French. Crowd: 304. Entertainment Value: 3/5