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Cambridge City 2-1 Frome Town – Evo-Stik Southern Premier, Weds. 27th Jan.

Despite taking the lead through a penalty in the 7th minute, a goal either side of half time  from Cambridge skipper Buster Harradine ultimately led to a 2-1 victory for Cambridge and a long journey home for Frome.

With this match having been postponed on a Saturday earlier in the season, Frome were forced to make the long journey to Cambridge on a Wednesday in January.

With the pitch having passed a midday inspection, the hopes were that no more rain would fall as Frome already have experience of travelling all the way to Cambridge only to have the match called off on their arrival, as happened last season. Luckily, the weather played ball, no more rain fell and despite the pitch being heavily sanded, it was perfectly playable.

Work and other commitments meant that the squad was short of six players who had achieved the impressive win at Hitchin last time out, with Marcus Mapstone, Kris Miller, Jon Davies, Darren Jefferies, Ricky Hulbert and Jake Sinclair all missing, though the squad were pleased to welcome the return of Chris Knowles who had impressed greatly earlier in the season before returning to Gloucester City.

New signing from Larkhall, Dan Cleverley also took his place in the starting line up.

The match started with a flurry of activity as Cambridge broke almost immediately as Mitchell Page was dispossessed with a heavy tackle, but Darren Chitty was up to the task and saved well with his feet. Frome took the lead in the 7th minute as Dan Cleverley hit a shot from the edge of the area that was parried by Zac Barrett, and as Sam Teale went for the rebound he was pushed in the back, the referee pointed to the spot and George Miller stepped up to convert with ease for his second goal in two matches.

Frome could easily have increased their lead two minutes later as Barrett came racing out of his goal to intercept, but the ball held up on the sticky surface allowing Page to reach it first and get his shot away, only for a defender to get back and clear off the line.

A long range effort from Duran Reynolds flew just inches wide of Frome’s far post in the 25th, and Miller went close four minutes later with a free kick that just cleared the Cambridge bar, but just as it looked as if the visitors would hold onto their lead until half time, the hosts equalised in the 40th as skipper Buster Harradine smashed a shot into the top corner from just outside the area as a rebound fell kindly for him.

The second half started in the worst possible way for Frome as only two minutes had elapsed when Harradine scored from close range after Chitty had done well to save a shot from the edge of the area, and Frome’s joy in the 55th minute was cut short as a linesman’s flag ruled out a goal from Jake Fitzgibbon due to offside.

Home keeper Barrett did well to save a low effort from Chris Knowles at the second attempt in the 57th and he again did well to punch out a corner from Miller that was threatening to fly into the top corner, but with the heavy pitch taking its toll on legs, the last 20 minutes of the match was short of incident and neither side really looked like troubling the scorer again.

Crowd: 153. Entertainment Value: 3/5.