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Biggleswade Town 4-1 Frome Town – Evo-Stik Southern Premier, Sat 22nd April

After Frome had clawed their way back into the game thanks Jake Jackson’s 21st goal of the season, three goals in the last twelve minutes from Biggleswade gave them a 4-1 victory and saw them overtake Frome on goal difference into seventh place in the league.

With the last match of a long hard season that has seen Frome finish in their highest ever league position and their highest ever points total in that league, the fixture just happened to send them to Biggleswade Town knowing that a draw or a win would confirm seventh, but a loss would drop Frome to eighth as Biggleswade have a superior goal difference.

On a dry and bumpy pitch, Biggleswade made the early running as an early effort thumped into the body of Kyle Phillips, and only a few seconds later they opened the scoring as they regained possession after a Frome throw, broke quickly and Tony Burnett was able to control, turn and shoot home from just inside the penalty area.

Spurred on by a small but vocal home crowd, Biggleswade were pressing hard all over the pitch, but eventually Frome got into the match and started creating half chances, though the home side generally looked the more likely to get the next goal with Jordan Walker just blocking a dangerous shot on the quarter hour.

James Fitzgibbon was starting to warm to the task for Frome and a superb run the length of the pitch led to Ian Brown saving with his legs as the low cross came in, and with Mike Bryant hitting a volley over the bar, Frome were definitely still in this game, and they started the second half in the same mode with Brown just beating Bryant to a Knight cross in the opening moments, though the hosts then immediately went close with a header from the penalty spot just skimming the bar.

After Frome had survived three corners in quick succession with Phillips finding himself busy with every one, a Frome corner then threatened as Marcus Mapstone headed just wide and with Bryant blasting wide from six yards shortly after, it was beginning to look like the equaliser would soon arrive. And so it did as Fitzgibbon went on another excellent run and as he drove the ball into the area, and hand went up and the referee awarded Frome a penalty.

Jackson took the penalty kick, only for Ian Brown (in goal for the last time after a career of 400+ matches) saved well, only for the ball to rebound to Jackson who drove it home from close range for his 21st goal of the season, with 17 of those coming away from home.

With 15 minutes to go, both sides went looking for the winner, and after Biggleswade had gone close as Rhys Hoenes stumbled as he went round Phillips and lost control, they gained the lead in the 80th as Burnett was on hand to tap in from a dangerous cross, and with substitute Luke Emery repeating the feat with a similar goal four minutes later the game was now done and dusted.

With Biggleswade substituting their retiring goalkeeper to a standing ovation with a few minutes to go, they scored with almost the last kick of the match as Craig Daniel shot home after poor defending the give the scoreline a slightly lop-sided look on the overall balance of the game.

Mike Bryant was awarded his first  H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award for another good performance in what has been a hugely successful season for the club and my thanks go to Josh Jeffries, his staff and all the players for making my job very enjoyable this season. Crowd: 165. Entertainment Value: 3/5