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Despite playing with ten men for the last hour, a penalty save from Kyle Phillips and a hat trick from Jake Jackson gave Frome Town an impressive 3-0 victory at struggling Cambridge City.
Frome made the 350 mile return trip to Cambridge City, who are currently in 21st place and struggling to avoid relegation, and this makes quite a change from the recent run of matches against sides in the top ten who all seem to be battling for the play off spots.
Connor Roberts was unavailable for this match and with Jon Davies and others missing through injury, Frome made the journey with just one real substitute, namely Jordan Walker who is coming back to full fitness from a long injury layoff. Sam Teale moved to centre back and Chris Gregan started at left back.
Jackson very nearly opened his account in the very first minute only to be denied by a good save by Dean Snedker, and after Ollie Knight and Mike Bryant had both had half chances,the first goal arrived in in the 9th minute as Jackson turned onto a through ball and shot low into the corner scored from just inside the area.
On a difficult pitch, Frome were dominating at this stage and Snedker produced another good save to push a Jackson shot away for a corner, and with Jackson heading an Ollie Knight right wing cross just wide despite the attentions of the very tall Cambridge defence, it seemed that more goals were in the pipeline.
However, Cambridge were not without their chances, and in the 20th, a shot from just outside the area cleared the Frome bar, and they seemed to be having more possession and territory as Frome sat deep and invited the hosts onto them. The pressure led to a chance inside the Frome box and Frome’s captain Sam Teale was shown a straight red in the 32nd for a rash challenge on a Cambridge attacker, and with a penalty awarded and a man short for the rest of the match, the game changed in an instant.
However, Kyle Phillips was up to the task, saved low from Goldy Capela and managed to hold onto the ball and Frome held onto their lead until half time.
Midfielder Clayton Green dropped into the back four for the second half and at the start, Cambridge had the better of it, carving out a couple of spurned chances and making the most of their numerical advantage, but Frome and Jackson’s second goal arrived in the 52nd as the striker latched onto a through ball to round Snedker and roll the ball into the net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Cambridge immediately played all their cards as they made a triple substitution to try and salvage something from the match, and they went very close as only a superb saving tackle from Green denied them an open goal, and with Chris Gregan making the most of his first start for a while with a very polished performance, Cambridge were rapidly becoming frustrated by their inability to break down the visitors.
At the other end, Marcus Mapstone brought a low save from Snedker and with a 40 yard run from Darren Jefferies to set up a high shot from George Miller, Frome always looked capable of getting another with a counter attack.
With Ollie Knight unselfishly setting Jackson free for what would certainly have been his hat trick had it not been for an offside flag, he repeated the feat five minutes later and this time no flag showed and Jackson was able to slot the ball home for his second hat trick of the season.
Unusually, the directors decided to award two H&B Tyres Man of the Match Awards, one for Jake Jackson for his hat trick and one to Chris Gregan for an outstanding match at left back after a long spell without a full match.