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Point against high-flying Salisbury

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Mon 22nd April; Evo-Stik Southern Premier Frome Town 0 Salisbury City 0

With Salisbury firmly in the play offs and Frome already relegated, the accepted wisdom was that this would be a stroll in the sunshine for Salisbury, but perhaps that’s what the visitors also thought. 

But Frome gave as good as they got in this match, and could just as easily have ran out winners if they had taken one of their chances.

With the side missing both Ryan Bath and Troy Simpson up front, TJ Davies and Josh Morgan-Williams were recalled to the starting line up, and with injuries still preventing Sam Teale and Marcus Mapstone from playing at the back, the Frome defence looked very young indeed and against a Salisbury side going well; it was going to take a  special effort to keep a clean sheet.

In front of a good crowd and on a glorious day, the match kicked off in a very even manner, with Frome probably just shading the first twenty minutes, but struggling to convert possession into chances. The first chance arrived in the 22nd minute as Morgan-Williams played a sweet through ball to TJ Davies who just lost control at the crucial moment, allowing Jake Hallet to come out and smother the ball.

Salisbury created their first chance in the 24th as a quickly-taken free kick allowed Claudio Herbert a run on goal, only for Rob Brown to deny him. Brown again did well at the resulting corner as he made two sharp saves in quick succession from close range efforts.

Brown again saved Frome in the 27th as he saved a diving header from Jack Sparkes, and with Matt Partridge’s volley a chance high and wide in the 33rd, Salisbury were starting to look like they were warming to their task. But Frome rode out the storm and apart from Darren Mullings heading a Salisbury corner over just before the break, at half time the score remained 0-0.

Frome had a huge chance to take the lead four minutes after the restart as Morgan Williams beat the offside trap and cut along the dead ball line, but then held the ball too long and allowed Hallet to get a hand to the ball and push it to safety. Morgan Williams’ match only lasted a couple of minutes more as a tackle left him on the floor and he was then stretchered from the pitch after a lengthy delay.

Frome definitely looked the more lively of the two sides as the half progressed and Hallet was the more active of the two keepers. But like most of the season, Frome struggled to convert these raids into chances, with the final ball always seeming to let down the good work leading up to it. 

With the large travelling contingent of Salisbury fans getting increasingly restless and frustrated with the performance of their team, the visitors did at last try to inject some urgency into their play. With the whole of the Frome defence doing well to frustrate their attempts, their play became more frenetic than measured and as the game seemed to be heading for the draw, Frome could well have won the match in the 91st minute as TJ Davies was set clean through on goal, only for panic and loss of balance to set in and his left foot shot cleared the bar by a country mile.

All in all, a good, hard working performance for Frome to finish the season with, but Salisbury fans will know that their team will have to play a lot better in the play-off for them to progress this season.

Goalkeeper Rob Brown was awarded the Man of the Match award by match sponsors Moss, Naylor and Young .  Crowd: 467. Entertainment Value:  3/5

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