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Arlesey Town 1 – 2 Frome Town – Calor Premier League, Sat. 9th Nov

Frome Town certainly rode their luck in this match, but an outstanding performance saw them take a 2-0 lead at Arlesey and tenacious defending towards the end ensure all three points as Arlesey went all out for the equaliser. 

With only a squad of 13 fit players to choose from, this was Frome’s first Southern League Premier game for almost a month and was manager Brian O’Donnell’s first league game in charge of the side.

A bright start from both sides saw end to end action in the first 20 minutes, with Arlesey probably having the better of the chances created but failing to hit the target, but it was Frome who opened the scoring in the 23rd minute as a perfect through ball from Rhys Baggridge allowed Ben Wood to run onto a score with a superb finish. A second goal almost arrived several minutes later as Kurt Hammonds headed an Aaron Ledgister corner just over the bar, followed by Matt Smith almost setting Brandon Mundy free, but a last ditch tackle robbed him just as he was about to shoot. Arlesey’s Jonny McNamara had a golden chance to equalise, but hit the side netting after rounding Darren Chitty, and then Kim Forsythe was guilty of an awful miss for the hosts as he somehow managed to shoot wide from an unmarked position in front of the Frome goal. However, Frome rode their luck and started to look the stronger as half time approached with Baggridge relishing his midfield role and Ledgister causing problems with his pinpoint free kicks and corners.

Frome made it 2-0 in the 51st minute as superb play from Mundy set up Matt Smith and Ben Wood to interchange, with Smith shooting home through the legs of Adam Lawrence from 12 yards. With a 2-0 lead to play with, Frome really started to turn on the style with Mundy, Baggridge, Wood and Smith causing problems for Arlesey as they attacked with pace and intelligence, but as often happens, the hosts pulled one back in the 65th minute as Ryan Frater headed home a corner, setting up an interesting last half hour.

Arlesey’s Forsythe was guilty of a second incredible miss of the game as he headed a right wing cross wide from five yards out, and Frome’s Wood had a golden chance to increase their lead but shot wide when he had more time than he realised.

Two more great chances for Arlesey to equalise arrived in the last 10 minutes, but heroic defending blocked the first and Barry Hayles managed to head wide from five yards in injury time, leaving Frome with a very hard won three points.  Brandon Mundy was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award” for an outstanding performance.