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Frome Town 1-0 Truro City – Southern Premier League, Sat. 7th Feb.

If fighting spirit has been in short supply recently, it resurfaced in a big way, and the Blindman’s Brewery Stadium resembled the siege of the Alamo in the second half as the nine remaining Frome players performed heroics for the last half hour to defend a single goal lead against third place Truro City.

With Darren Chitty returning from injury just in time to replace able stand in Ed Baldy who had broken a finger in practice this week, Brandon Mundy also returned from suspension to take his place in midfield with both Ben Worlock and Kris Miller still injured.

It was clear from the start of the match that Frome had a new determination about their play, and with Lewis Haldane dropping back more into a midfield role allowing Matt Smith to come forward and link up with Ollie Taylor, they started well and were equal to Truro for the first 25 minutes, with Chitty showing that he was as capable as ever when dealing with a couple of snapshots.

Truro’s goalkeeper Charlie Burns will want to forget his first real contribution to the game as he had plenty of time to deal with a back pass, but as he moved the ball from one foot to the other, he waited too long and hit his clearance straight into the body of Ollie Taylor and the ball rolled perfectly into the net from the edge of the penalty area to give Frome the lead in the 25th minute.

In response, Truro immediately went close as Chitty just failed to deal with a right wing corner, and then they showed their dangerous intentions twice in the space of five minutes, as Matt Wright hung well in the air to win two headers, but both times he managed to guide the ball over the bar from 10 yards out.

Disaster struck Frome in the 41st minute as  Taylor was shown a straight red in the 41st for a punch to the body after he was fouled and held down by Ed Palmer, who was shown a yellow card for his part in the incident. From the resulting free kick, Haldane curled the ball in and Smith volleyed only for the ball to strike a defender.

The second half started with Burns almost getting another “assist” as his clearance hit Smith, but this time the ball refused to follow the plan, and after Rodriguez had charged another clearance down, Smith brought a save from Burns as he ran onto the ball.

At the other end, Chitty was being brought into action more often as Truro upped the pace of the game against the 10 men, but Frome still looked dangerous on the break as Haldane brought another low save from Burns.

However, 10 men became nine in the 58th as Dylan Bonella was  penalised for a slight pull back on Les Afful, and as the referee raced to the spot and brandished first a yellow and then a red with a well rehearsed flourish, Frome’s task became even harder and the home fans started to realise that only a ‘Dunkirk spirit’ would result in Frome avoiding defeat in this match.

Josh Morgan Williams immediately replaced Aaron Rodriguez and the youngster went on to show that he had the heart for the battle as he chased everything for the remaining 30 minutes, and he was not alone as every Frome player battled for everything and frustrated Truro time after time as they launched continuous attacks on Darren Chitty’s goal.

Countless corners and free kicks kept the pressure on continuously, but with Rhys Baggridge, Jack Vallis and Mark Cooper throwing themselves at everything and Darren Chitty bringing off save after save, the impossible happened after Truro’s attack in the last minute had resulted in at least three goal line clearances, the referee eventually blew the whistle and an ecstatic home crowd, team and management celebrated the three points noisily.

As a visiting Truro fan said after the match … “You did well today, and we even brought our own referee with us”….. which kind of sums the game up in one sentence.

Darren Chitty was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” by match sponsors John Scott Builders, though the whole team deserved the award for their bravery and sheer determination not to concede anything.

• Frome Town staff, players and supporters were left frustrated by a late decision to postpone their away trip to Cambridge City on 31st January.

The game passed a morning inspection but was later postponed at 1.45pm due to a waterlogged pitch – after Frome had made the four hour journey. The rearranged match will take place on Wednesday 18th March.