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Frome Town 2-0 Hitchin Town – Southern Premier League, Sat. 1st March

Frome Town’s good run of form continued as they beat Hitchin Town 2-0, scoring two early goals and comfortably protecting their lead in a game that was always evenly matched but with few clear cut chances.

With Rhys Baggridge suspended, Jack Vallis moved into the centre of defence alongside Tim Stephenson, but apart from that, the starting 11 was much as expected.

After the early exchanges had produced the odd half chance, Frome’s first goal arrived in the ninth minute as Ben Wood whipped in a low hard corner, and, as Tajh Bell stooped to collect it, Tim Stephenson arrived and poked the ball into the net from a yard out.

The lead was doubled three minutes later as Ben Thomson burst through on the left and pulled the ball back to Ricky Hulbert, and as his shot was blocked, the ball ran to Ben Wood who hit a great right foot shot into the far corner from just outside the penalty area. Hitchin responded and looked to get back into the game, and for periods of the first half they had the better of possession and territory, but Frome are very well organised these days, the attackers and midfield work hard when not in possession and press high up the pitch making it difficult for the opposition to find a way through to goal, and when they do manage it, the defence are normally waiting for them.

Hitchin applied some pressure in the minutes leading up to the break, but Jack Vallis thwarted them twice, and their first real shot on target arrived in the 43rd minute as Darren Chitty went low to save in the corner as a shot came low through a sea of legs,

The second half saw Frome start well, with Matt Smith bringing a save from Bell in the 46th minute and a good move in the 53rd led to a Ben Wood snapshot just evading the post in the 53rd, but then Hitchin started to get more possession in midfield and Frome once again were resolute in defence and always looked capable of scoring a third should the need arise, but it never really did and in the end they ran out comfortable winners.

Jack Vallis was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award”  by Neil Clark who had sponsored the match after a dominating display at the heart of the defence. Crowd: 223. Star Man: Jack Vallis. Entertainment Value: 4.