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Paulton Rovers 3-2 Frome Town – Red Insure Cup Second Round, Tue. 2nd Dec.

High scoring ties seemed to be the order of the day in the Red Insure Cup.

After Frome’s victory by the odd goal in nine against Larkhall in the previous round, they lost this one by the odd goal in five to Paulton Rovers who just about deserved the victory on the night.

Frome fielded a strong side in this one, but were without Jon Vance (still struggling with a groin injury) and Matt Cowler (broken wrist sustained on Saturday). Ben Thomson started on the bench but was still wary over a hamstring problem that has taken a while to fully heal. It was good to see Sam Allison (a former player at both clubs) refereeing, and, as you might expect, he had a good match and commanded the respect of both sides.

The match started with Frome playing up the slope and for the quarter they looked the better side and played some nice football, with Cameron Brown and Aaron Rodriguez especially looking good going forward, and it was good work by the latter that set up a shooting chance for the former, only for the ball to go wide of the post from 15 yards.

However, as the match progressed, Paulton started to look the better side and Scott Brice went close in the 20th and brought a save from Darren Chitty in the 25th, and only a late intervention from Rhys Baggridge cleared the danger from a dangerous cross in the 27th. Frome did have their moments as the half progressed, but the scorer remained untroubled at the interval, when Ricky Hulbert was replaced by new signing Ben Worlock who played on the right side of defence / midfield.

After early Frome pressure, Paulton took the lead in the 56th minute as Elliott Gibbons cut in from the left found Jon Davies who shot clinically past Frome keeper Darren Chitty with a low shot that went off the inside of the far post.

Frome made it 1-1 in the 64th as Baggridge set Kris Miller away on the right, and as he made good ground and cut inside the box, he was taken down by Elliot Gibbons who protested his innocence much to the amusement of the crowd close to the action who saw and heard the foul take place. As he always does, Miller stepped up to take the penalty and with an economical action despatched it into the corner giving Kyle Phillips no chance.

Frome were only level for a minute as, almost straight from the kick off,  Paulton went upfield, Brandon Barnes crossed, Baggridge got something on it, the ball went up in the air and Davies scored his second of the night with a very well taken bicycle kick into the corner.

As Frome searched for the equaliser, a ball from Josh Klein_Davies allowed Rodriguez to bring a good save from Phillips with a well hit shot, but Paulton then scored their third in the 81st as Barnes took a 30 yard free kick that seemed to confuse Chitty so much that he stayed rooted to the spot as the ball entered the net.

With a minute of normal time left, Frome made it 3-2 on the night as Josh Klein Davies hit a rasping shot which Kyle Phillips blocked, but Lewis Haldane was on hand to tap the ball  home.

Aaron Rodriguez was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” and there are distinct signs that he is starting to believe in his own ability to produce match winning moments.