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St Neots 3-1 Frome Town – Calor Southern Premier League, Sat. 7th Dec.

FOR the second match in a row, Frome Town conceded two early goals, came back into it and conceded a third late on as they lost 3-1 at St Neots Town.

With Matt Smith and Aaron Ledgister both unavailable due to illness, captain Bryan Smith and Lloyd Matthews both released by the club and Kurt Hammonds still suspended, the depleted squad could only manage to take thirteen players to this match.

Frome were so unlucky right at the start as a poor goal kick from Nathan Abbey allowed top scorer Ben Wood control the ball and thunder a 25 yarder against the St Neots cross bar, but, almost predictably, they went behind in the 12th minute as a shot was blocked by a Frome defender, only for Matt Nolan to rifle home an unstoppable shot as he was the first to react to the loose ball. Abbey’s kicking was again suspect in the 20th minute, and this time the ball ended up with Brandon Mundy on the left wing, and another long range effort landed just over the bar to relief of the home keeper, and with Frome pushing Ricky Hulbert forward from midfield, they started to look more pro-active.

St Neots had a shot from Ryan Frater well saved in the 33rd minute, then  Nolan was again the scorer in the 37th minute as he headed home a Lewis Wilson cross from the left wing, with the winger having far too much time and space.

With a 2-0 deficit, Frome really needed an early goal in the second half and it duly arrived in the 58th minute as Tim Stephenson intercepted a pass, allowing Hulbert to clip the ball to Rhys Baggridge who controlled it on his chest and hit a sweet 25 yarder past Abbey, with the hint of a deflection.

Abbey did well to save a Mark Cooper free kick at full stretch, and then just as Frome looked like they might be coming back into the game, the greasy ball deceived Darren Chitty as he spilled a left wing cross, allowing Simon Thomas an easy tap in for the third.

Baggridge had a golden chance to pull one back a minute later but shot wide from 6 yards out with Abbey on the floor, and with Mark Cooper getting a straight red card soon after, the match ended on a low note, with St Neots worthy of the win.

Tim Stephenson was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award” for an outstanding performance in the heart of the defence.