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St. Neots Town 3-1 Frome Town – Evo-Stik Southern Premier, Sat 20th Dec.

After going two goals down in the first half, playing with 10 men for all the second half and seeing captain and goalkeeper Darren Chitty stretchered off soon after half time, despite a spirited fightback, Frome Town eventually  lost 3-1 at fifth placed St Neots Town.

After Chitty had produced an amazing early save to deny Matt Spring, he was unable to do anything to stop a great finish from David Hutton in the 14th after he had picked the ball out of the air fired home a great shot.

Home keeper Paul Bastock pulled off a stunning save after Cameron Brown had set up Aaron Ridriguez for a shot, but then St Neots made it 2-0 in the 42nd as a long range shot from Drew Roberts flew into the net.

Frome’s Brandon Mundy was shown a straight red for a late tackle immediately after the second goal and Frome faced an uphill struggle to come back from a two goal deficit with only 10 men.

Frome’s injury worries increased greatly in the 55th minute as Chitty slid out to collect, but was still down after a lengthy stoppage, and after a stretcher had been called for the influential captain and goalkeeper was replaced by Dyland Bonella, with Ricky Hulbert taking over the goalkeeper’s jersey.

Hulbert pulled off a couple of good saves as he used his legs to deny a fierce drive from Ben Mackey, and then did well to palm away a drive from Roberts, but Frome were playing well in this period and they reduced the deficit and made it 2-1 in the 65th as Jack Vallis flicked on a free kick and Haldane produced some sublime control on the edge of the box and curled a great shot into the top corner.

St Neots made it 3-1 in the 72nd as a clipped cross was headed by full back Max York, but Frome still went looking for something from the match and a rocket of a shot from substitute Omar Simpson thundered against the home cross bar in the 87th, but it wasn’t to be and Frome are left to hope that the injury to Chitty is not as serious as the stretcher suggested.

Despite the defeat, Frome’s performance suggested that they could have got something from this game, and with the visit to the Blindman’s Brewery Stadium of top of the table Poole Town on Boxing day, the tough fixtures are coming thick and fast at the moment.

Mark Cooper was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” and the left back has been increasingly impressive in every match since his return from suspension.

Star Man: Mark Cooper. Entertainment Value: 3.