CALOR LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: Frome Town 0 St Albans City 0
ST Albans needed a point from this match to ensure their place in the play-offs, and despite Frome having Ben Thomson sent off on the hour, they held on for the draw.
Almost before the crowd had taken their places, Jack Vallis thumped a header against the base of the visitors' post, and Frome certainly started brightly enough with as they probed the St Albans defence several times in the first ten minutes, with Thompson’s pace and direct running always looking a threat.
Matt Smith let fly with a low 20-yarder in the 16th minute and St. Albans had their first real chance in the 23rd minute as Steve Wales let fly from the edge of the area, but the shot cleared the cross bar by a fair way.
Matt Groves replaced Kris Miller in the 24th minute due to an injury to the midfielder and played up front alongside Thomson, with Ricky Hulbert moving to the right of midfield.
As the half progressed, St Albans started to play with some authority and were denied an opening goal in the 34th minute as Ram Marwa headed home an in-swinging corner, but the whistle had already blown for an infringement elsewhere.
The second half started brightly with a good run from Wales leading to a lob by James Comley that Darren Chitty was just able to take under his crossbar, and then Smith cut through for Frome to set up Thomson who brought a save from Paul Bastock a minute later.
Josh Ford cleared off his own line in the 51st minute and the match seemed finely balanced, but that all changed in the 60th minute as Ben Thomson was involved in a tussle with Lee Chappell that ended up with a melee.
Presumably as a result of something that happened in the scuffle, Thomson was shown a straight red after the referee discussed the matter with his assistants.
The ten men of Frome then entered their best spell of the match as it seemed that they had a point to prove, and Groves brought a save from Baston after being set up by Hulbert and then Ben Wood cut in from the left and unleashed a strong shot that Baston did well to get his body behind.
As the match moved towards the final whistle, St Albans seemed very content to keep possession in the Frome half, but Frome always looked like they could spoil the visitors' party as a succession of Jon Vance dead-ball deliveries always looked likely to allow Jack Vallis to head home.
Vance was awarded the H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award by match sponsors Sumo and Zippy for another tireless performance in midfield, and what a signing the lad has proved to be Frome Town this season.
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