EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: Kettering 1 Frome Town 1
9:30am Monday 3rd September 2012 in Latest News
FROME Town picked up their first away point of the season with a 1-1 draw at Nene Park, the impressive stadium of Kettering Town which was formerly home to the now-defunct Rushden & Diamonds.
Frome boss Darren Perrin gave a debut to former Bristol Rovers player Darren Jefferies, who had signed in the days leading up to the game and also welcomed back Mike Reaney and Mike Perrott from injury.
But they were missing Tom Evans through a one-game suspension following his red card on the opening day against AFC Totton.
Kettering exerted early pressure on the Frome defence and had a large share of the possession in the opening exchanges but without creating any clear-cut chances although Frome looked dangerous on the break.
There were appeals for a Frome penalty after five minutes as Dean Evans won a midfield tussle in the air which allowed Lewis Powell to find Perrott on the left wing whose cross into the box appeared to strike a home defender's arm, but the referee waived away the muted protests.
The Robins thought they had made the breakthrough just three minutes later as a long throw into the Kettering box wasn’t cleared and Alex Lapham’s 20-yard effort took several deflections before landing at the feet of Dean Evans, who swept the ball home.
But the celebrations of the small travelling support were soon muted at the sight of the assistant referee’s raised offside flag.
Chances for the home side had been limited so far but the returning Reaney had to react quickly to head off his own goaline to deny a Kettering header and from the loose ball Lapham was brave to block Jamie Griffiths' effort from 25 yards.
Kettering made a tactical change with the unhappy-looking Will Muzvimbiri being replaced by Ben Gathercole but soon after Frome took the lead.
The Robins had started to play their way into the game and were looking lively going forward but had struggled to test the home keeper.
From one of their attacks they won a corner in the 34th minute which after only being partially cleared it fell to Perrott on the left wing whose superb cross was met by the onrushing Powell who headed home at the near post for his third goal of the season in just four starts.
Kettering took just four minutes to equalise. Defender Ryan Bennett caused a mix-up getting in the way of a Reaney clearance which led to the hosts being given a corner. The in-swinging kick from their left was headed home unchallenged by Ben Gerring.
Both Evans and Kettering's Michael King went into the referee’s notebook for needless fouls and just before the break the Robins missed a golden chance to head into the interval in the lead.
A patient build-up eventually saw Evans play a super through ball to debutant Jefferies who found himself clear on goal but his shot from an angle failed to trouble the keeper and it only found the side netting.
Shortly after the restart manager Perrin was asked to leave the dugout and the home fans were left stunned after first half sub Gathercole was taken off for another tactical change.
Kettering put Frome under real pressure in the second half with the Robins unable to get much of the ball and almost took the lead as a dangerous free kick by Phil Ifil was headed just over his own bar by Bennett and the resulting corner was headed wide by David Mayo.
The Poppies were given a great chance to put themselves in front though after 66 minutes as Bennett needlessly gave away a penalty but another Kettering sub Warren Byerley saw his spot kick saved by Darren Chitty diving away to his right.
Byerley and Chitty had had previous history as the former Weymouth striker missed two penalties on Boxing Day against the Frome ‘keeper.
Town then brought on Claudio Herbert in place of Jefferies to add some added pace to the attack and Aaron Ledgister replaced the tiring Reaney before Frome went agonisingly close to getting their noses in front again as Powell sent a looping header from 10 yards over the keeper but the ball struck the outside of the post.
The Robins were then reduced to 10 men with Lapham dismissed for a tackle that was deemed high and dangerous.
Herbert was the unlucky player to be sacrificed after being on the field only 20 minutes in order to help stiffen up the midfielder after Lapham’s departure as Dan Bowman was introduced.
With time running out, both teams were still looking for a winner although Frome were obviously more cautious in their approach playing with a man less and from Ledgister's free kick on the left Nat Auckland climbed but his header fell just wide of the post with the ‘keeper beaten.
Kettering’s final chance arrived in the last minute as Griffiths and Andrew Burns combined to set up a great chance but Chitty was on hand to block well with the rebound by Burns landing on the roof of the net.
Deep in stoppage time Frome should have snatched a winner themselves as Powell did superbly to hold the ball up and rolled it back to Auckland whose cross-field pass found the unmarked Perrott who cut in from the left, beat the last defender and with a clear sight of goal and just the keeper to beat curled an effort wide of the far post.
Frome: Darren Chitty, David Thompson, Michael Reaney, Dean Flockton, Ryan Bennett, Alex Lapham, Darren Jefferies, Dean Evans, Lewis Powell, Mike Perrott, Nat Auckland.
Subs: Ben Wood, Aaron Ledgister, Jamie Lyons, Claudio Herbert, Dan Bowman.
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