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Frome Town 4-0 Redditch – Southern Premier League, Sat. 25th Jan.

Frome Town’s renaissance under Adrian Foster continued with an excellent comprehensive   4-0 victory over Redditch that included debut goals for both man of the match Ben Thomson and substitute Mario Mateus.

With Jack Vallis and Mark Francis not fully recovered from injury, new signing from Gillingham Ben Thompson started at number nine, Tim Stephenson resumed at centre half alongside Rhys Baggridge and Jon Vance returned to the number six shirt.

Frome were very quickly out of the blocks and the first minute saw a Ben Wood right wing corner whistle across the Redditch goal line with nobody able to get the finishing touch, But it only took six minutes for Frome to take the lead as debutant centre forward Thomson chased down a long through ball from Matt Smith, shrugged off and burst between two burly defenders, rounded Bradley Callow and coolly slotted home with his left foot to give Frome the lead with a superbly taken goal.

As the half progressed, it became clear that the gale force squally wind that was blowing straight into the faces of the Frome players was going to play a major part in the match, and Redditch made the most of their advantage to control possession and territory, but rarely troubled Darren Chitty in the home goal.

As such, the first half tended to settle into a pattern where Frome defended in depth, harried everywhere and looked to hit Redditch with counter attacks, while still looking comfortable defending and restricting Redditch to occasional long range shots, all of which missed the target by considerable margins.

With the (slightly easing) conditions in their favour after half time, Frome went very close in the 47th as Ben Wood let fly with a 25 yard shot that Callow could only parry into the path of Kris Miller, but the winger just managed to reach it and shoot into the side netting.

The impressive Thomson was always causing problems for the Redditch defence, and his persistence won a free kick on the right that led to Frome’s second goal. Ben Wood took the kick with his left foot and with the help of the following wind it turned into the sort of cross that begged for an attacker to get on the end of it. Ricky Hulbert obliged and his header flew into the net giving Callow no chance.

The third arrived three minutes later as Thomson cut in from the left, got to the deadball line, turned inside a defender and laid the ball perfectly back to Matt Smith to shoot home unerringly from 15 yards.

Redditch’s Ashley Sammons was shown a straight red in the 62nd minute for kicking Hulbert as he chased a back pass, and he might just have got away with a yellow, had the referee not been stood five yards away. New signing and substitute Mario Mateus made it 4-0 with 10 minutes to go as a perfect cross from Tim Stephenson allowed the smallest player on the pitch to glance a perfect header high into the far top corner of the goal, leading to ecstatic celebrations on the pitch.

Redditch were well beaten now, and the last 10 minutes saw Frome just knocking the ball easily around and looking for the opening – a sight that has not been seen at Frome for many a month and was good to watch.

At the final whistle, Frome celebrated their second home win in succession (after waiting 10 months for their first one) and you get the impression that it won’t be very long until the next home victory, as this team now looks like it just can’t wait for the next chance to prove their pedigree.