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Frome Town 2-3 Farnborough – Sat. 30th March. Evo-Stik Southern Premier

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Frome really deserved a share of the points in this match, but an 87th minute penalty from Farnborough proved the winner in a game that Frome had always looked the livelier side.

Despite their lowly position, Frome started this match on a run of two straight league wins over good opposition, and with Farnborough sat in 8th place, another good performance was expected from this new look, young Frome side. It certainly proved to be the case, with probably their best home performance of the season, despite the final result.

Tall centre half Joe Loe made his debut for Frome, and with Richard Dawley and Joe O’Loughlin at right back and left back respectively, only Connor Roberts was a familiar name in the back four, with Sam Teale and Marcus Mapstone both sidelined through injury.

It started badly for the young Frome side as tall Farnborough centre half, Aaron Oakley, rose high at the far post to head home a second minute corner for Farnborough, but the hosts gave as good as they got and looked after Troy Simpson and Ollie Knowles both had shooting opportunities, Frome duly levelled the score in the 22nd as debutant centre half, Joe Loe, found himself unmarked in the box and volleyed home a corner from close range.

O’Loughlin did well in the 27th to deal with a dangerous Farnborough free kick at the far post, but on the whole, Frome were looking the better side.With a good left wing move in the 33rd leading to a blocked shot by Simpson and Tom Mehew shooting over in the 41st after good work on the right by Mannings, this was turning into a good match, but neither side could find a second and the score remained 1-1 at half time.

Frome started the second half really well with Mannings bursting into the box after 30 seconds, only to shoot wide. Six minutes later, a right wing move led to the same player hitting an overhead just wide after Bath had seen a shot blocked, and with Mehew hitting a crisp right foot shot goalwards in the 57th, only for a diving header from CJ Fearns to clear the ball, the crowd were starting to get behind the home side.

Following another raid down the right in the 64th, the ball found its way to Rex Mannings who hit an absolute screamer of a left foot shot into the far corner from just inside the box to send the home payers and fans ecstatic. But unfortunately the lead only lasted a couple of minutes as the visitors stepped up their game and an excellent Farnborough cross from the left was headed home well by Connor Cullen from 12 yards to make it 2-2

The 2-2 draw would have been a fair result, but Frome were playing probably their best football of the season, going forward with pace, movement and intelligence. Perhaps they tired slightly at the end and as Farnborough applied late pressure from a couple of corners, a gap appeared in the Frome defence. Reece Mitchell ran in on goal, a despairing tackle from Loe brought him down and Kurtis Cumberbatch despatched the penalty to break Frome hearts and send the unlucky Loe to the dressing room after a second yellow.

 The defeat leaves Frome effectively seven points from safety with six games to play, but with a game in hand. The match on Tuesday against Beaconsfield takes on a huge significance, and if Frome had played the way they did today for most of the season before, they would probably have been comfortable mid table and perhaps even pushing for the play off positions, but then hindsight is an exact science.

Rex Mannings  was awarded the Man of the Match award after his best match for the club and a superbly struck goal.

Frome Town FC has announced a number of signings.

19-year-old, Lithuanian youth international defender, Gustas Graziunas, has joined from RWD Molenbeek in Brussels while two young players, Joe Low and Ryley Towley, have joined on loan until the end of the season from Bristol City’s academy at Ashton Gate. Former City youngster, Cameron Allen, has also been signed to the team after an impressive short trial. Finally, Frome native and versatile defender Rich Dawley joined the club from Toolstation Western League Premier outfit Odd Down.

Manager Danny Greaves said, “I am delighted with the additions, who will hopefully give the squad a boost as we head into the final month.”

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