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Frome Town 0-0 Leamington – Evo-Stik Southern Premier, Sat. 3rd Oct

Frome Town’s revival continued with a second draw against the leading team in the league in the space of five days, and only a stunning save from Leamington’s Tony Breeden denied them a late winner in a hugely entertaining game.

Frome included new signing Chris Knowles in the starting 11, and playing alongside Rob Hobbs just in front of the back four, Frome’s defence is now staring to look very solid, and so it showed as the afternoon progressed.

An even, slightly scrappy start to the match saw neither side really carve out an opening, but as the match settled and the referee got a grip on things, it started to evolve into a good contest. Leamington’s Ben Mackey brought a regulation save from Darren Chitty in the 13th and Ricky Hulbert almost got on the end of a Sam Teale cross a few minutes later.

A move involving Rob Hobbs and Tyler Sibbick allowed Liam Monelle to shoot into the midriff of Breeden in the 17th and after a poor clearing kick, Chris Knowles let fly with a low 20 yard shot that just skimmed the outside of the visitor’s post.

After Leamington’s Jamie Hood had picked up a yellow card for a foul on Sibbick, Leamington looked dangerous in the 23rd as Lee Chilton picked out Mackey with a good cross and only Chitty and Jordy Nkunga did well to tidy up a dangerous situation before the dangerous striker could let fly.

A lovely dinked lob from Darren Jefferies found Monelle in space in the 32nd, only for his shot to be deflected for a corner that, as it came in, was deflected high into the air, then allowing Sibbick to hit a shot into the ground that Breeden had no problems dealing with.

Leamington moved up a gear at the start of the second half, and a pattern was set with the visitors having more of the territory and possession, but Frome looking calm and settled at the back and dangerous on the counter attack, and one in the 51st almost led to a clear shooting chance for Hobbs, but a block tackle cleared the danger.

Frome had a great shout for a penalty turned down in the 59th as two players were felled on their runs into the box as a free kick was swung in, but five minutes later, Darren Chitty pulled off two great saves in quick succession as a Leamington left wing moved found the Frome defence out of position.

Lewis Haldane and Callum Thompson replaced the hard working Tyler Sibbick and Ricky Hulbert in the 64th, and seven minutes later, Haldane went close with a shot over the bar as received a ball from Hobbs, cut inside and let fly, and then in the 76th, he provided a perfect cross onto the head of the flying Monelle, but as the ball flew unerringly towards the top corner, somehow Breeden defied the laws of physics to get to it and claw it out for a corner.

Hobbs had a great chance to win it for Frome in the 89th as he found himself through on goal only to hit his shot high and wide from the edge of the area, but as the final seconds ticked away, it was the home fans who held their breath as Leamington failed to hit the target with two headers from set pieces.

The final whistle was greeted with cheers and applause from the Frome fans, and after three matches without defeat, including two draws against teams on top of the league, the future is now starting to look much brighter.

Chris Knowles was awarded the  H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award and looks a good addition to a side that is improving every match.

Frome Scorers: None. Leamington Scorers: None. Crowd: 209. Star Man: Chris Holmes. Entertainment Value: 5/5