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Frome Town 1-0 Dunstable Town – Evo-Stik Southern Premier, Sat. 8th April

Frome Town recorded their third 1-0 win in a row as a headed goal from man of the match Marcus Mapstone was enough to secure the points in a match of few chances and the win keeps Frome in seventh place with a remote, but mathematically possible chance of reaching the play-offs.

With Connor Roberts back from suspension, the squad had a familiar look to it, with only really Jon Davies missing due to the knee injury sustained at Merthy several weeks ago.

On a very warm April day with the pitch looking remarkably good after the ravages of the winter, the match kicked off against 16th placed Dunstable, who are well clear of any relegation worries, and Frome immediately went close as Ollie Knight hit a snapshot into the side netting and in the 7th a Mapstone header from a free kick was just scrambled off the line by Jack Smith.

Frome had started well and with Mike Bryant close to getting a head onto a George Miller free kick, and Smith having to head a back pass to safety while under pressure from Darren Jefferies, it seemed as if the first goal could arrive any time soon, however it was the visitors who could easily have taken the lead in the 29th as Josh Oyinsan rose unmarked and headed a corner well over from 8 yards out.

Frome opened the scoring in the 36th as good work from Jackson and Bryant led to a corner on the left, and as it was swung in by Miller, Jackson flicked a near post header towards goal, Smith parried but Mapstone was on hand to head home from close range for a deserved half time lead.

The second half started with Mapstone landing another header on the roof of the visitor’s goal at the start and Miller hitting a volley past the post in the 10th, but to be honest, with both defences looking capable, and the neither midfield really dominating the game, chances were few and far between.

Knight went close to chasing down a long Phillips kick in the 71st only to be beaten to the ball by Smith, and a good run by Dunstable’s Claudi Diaz  a minute later saw him shoot just wide after going past three tackles, and with James Vernet bringing a save from Phillips in the 77th, the crowd were beginning to think that Dunstable might just sneak a share of the points.

However, it wasn’t to be and with Frome effectively gaining and keeping control of the ball for the few minutes of added on time, the match ended with Frome getting the three points that took them to 73 points for the season, the best tally in their history by a long way.

Fittingly, Marcus Mapstone was awarded the  H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award by representatives of Wessex Garden Fencing who had sponsored the match, and there is no doubt that the player has been outstanding for Frome this season, but because he does most of his work “unnoticed”, this is his first award.