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Chippenham Town 1-0 Frome Town, FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round – Tues 15th Sept.

Another very good performance from Frome saw them narrowly lose this FA cup replay to a single goal from ex-Robin Luke Ballinger, but Chippenham’s goalkeeper was far the busier as Frome showed a real desire to snatch the equaliser towards the end.

With only two substitutes available due to injury and unavailability, Frome started with Tyler Sibbick playing as a lone striker and both Ben Worlock and Joe Tumelty coming into the starting line up.

Playing down the slope, Frome were the first to show their attacking intentions and Kent Kauppinen had to be alert to tip a cross from Sam Teal out from under his crossbar, followed by a regulation save from Darren Jefferies shortly after.

The 14th minute saw Jefferies cut in from the right wing and go through four challenges before shooting high and wide from 15 yards, and Frome were very close to taking the lead in the 22nd as, following a corner, Tumelty hit a hard and low cross into the penalty area, only for Steve Hulbert to glance his diving header just wide of the far post.

At the other end, the Frome defence were coping well and as the match progressed, the midfield were probably just shading possession, but finding the elusive killer ball was going to prove critical in what was a fast, even contest.

Chippenham started the second half the quickest, and the first five minutes saw them dominating the game, but Frome rode the storm and launched a five- man counter attack that very nearly led to a clean shooting chance, and a few minutes later a Jefferies free kick was headed firmly back across the home goal by Teale, but nobody managed to get on the end of it.

Chippenham took the lead in the 59th minute as a diagonal move across the Frome box found Ballinger with a couple of yards of space and as the defence rushed to close him down, he hit a swerving shot the outside of his right foot and the swing on the ball took it away from Chitty and into the top corner for a well taken goal.

Frome went looking for the equaliser in numbers and the game developed into an end-to-end affair, and a perfectly timed slide tackle from Kris Miller just prevented Ollie Taylor from getting a shot in, then Frome substitute Jamie Horgan let fly with a twenty yard shot that Kauppinen could only parry away.

In the 75th, a great run and shot by Sibbick brought another parry that led to Jefferies having a shot saved and then amazingly, Kauppinen managed to thwart Ricky Hulbert’s close range effort to maintain Chippenham’s slender lead.

The last quarter saw Frome throwing everything they had at Chippenham, but a combination of solid defending and slightly rushed finishes failed to produce the goal that they deserved on the night, and Frome’s FA Cup campaign is over for another season.

On the evidence of the two matches against Chippenham, Frome’s first win of the season can’t be long in coming as the entire team now looks to be playing better and better every match.

Jordy Nkunga  was awarded the H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award for another composed performance at the centre of defence. Crowd: 320. Entertainment Value: 4/5