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Dunstable Town 3-2 Frome Town – Evo-Stik Southern Premier, Sat. 19th Sept.

Despite a stirring second half performance and two goals, Frome Town left it too late and just failed to claw back the 3-0 lead that Dunstable had established earlier.

Frome’s starting 11 included new signing Liam Monelle and the squad were missing Steve Hulbert and Lewis Haldane after picking up knocks in the two games FA Cup games against Chippenham.

With Frome improving rapidly from game to game, this was a match that they might have expected to get something from, as, at the start of play,  Dunstable were only three places and two points better off than Frome, however, sport and life in general never seems to follow the plan.

Frome started brightly and Rob Hobbs let fly from 25 yards straight at Danzelle Hamilton who almost spilt the ball, and  Hamilton did well to deny Tyler Sibbick a few minutes later as his shot from just inside the area was tipped round the post.

With Liam Monelle going close with a volley in the 14th minute, Frome were looking good, but then the home side took the lead in the 21st as a corner was swung over and Steve Gregory rose above everyone at the far post to head powerfully past Darren Chitty.

It was almost 2-0 to the hosts a minute later, but Chitty produced a great finger tip save in the top corner to turn away a 20 yard drive from Victor Osobu, but then Frome brought another two saves from Hamilton as first Darren Jefferies cut in and shot, and then Joe Tumelty failed to get enough on the shot to really trouble the keeper.

Dunstable made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute with a well worked goal and a  clever dummy that allowed the ball to run through to Adam Watkins who dinked it over the diving Chitty, and Frome now had a mountain to climb to get anything out of the game.

The second half saw Frome come straight out of the blocks and take the game to Dunstable, and Hamilton produced a superb save in the 53rd minute to deny Monelle after Jefferies had produced a telling through ball.

Frome kept applying the pressure and Sam Teale headed just over as he won the ball at the near post and, with Frome being denied a stonewall penalty in the 63rd as Sibbick was clearly impeded, it was beginning to seem the goal would never come.

It got worse for Frome in the 70th minute as Dunstable scored their third as a rare attack saw Gary Wharton beat Kris Miller for pace  before rounding Chitty, but they then promptly pulled it back to 3-1 as Sibbick scored his first goal for Frome as he cleverly avoided the offside trap and beat Hamilton with a controlled finish. With 10 minutes to go, Frome made it 3-2 as Matt Minnis controlled a through ball and set Monelle  free, and the youngster capped an excellent debut with a superb shot over Hamilton to set up an exciting end to the game.

However, try as they might, Frome could not fashion the equaliser and despite Jefferies stinging Hamilton’s palms with a volley in the 87th, Dunstable were comfortable defending their lead, and despite all the positives that can be taken from the last three games, it leaves Frome looking forward to the visit of Bideford on Wednesday night to try and get their first win of the season.

Jordy Nkunga  was awarded his second  H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award in succession for another composed performance at the centre of defence. Crowd: 320. Entertainment Value: 4/5