CALOR LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: Frome Town 5 St Neots Town 4
FROME Town came from behind four times to snatch a victory over St Neot’s Town, who played their full part in this nine-goal thriller.
Despite their long journey, St Neot’s came hurtling out of the blocks and dominated the first few minutes, with the pressure only being relieved as Lewis Hilliard blazed a shot just over the bar in the third minute.
Frome were struggling to gain possession, but as they acclimatised to the blistering pace that the visitors were playing at, they started to come more into the match and produce attacks of their own.
However, they were caught cold in the 21st minute as a St Neot’s break on the right led to a low cross and Shane Tolley applied a lovely touch to that saw the ball nestle in the far corner with Darren Chitty having no chance.
A Frome corner in the 27th saw Nat Abbey partly parry the ball away and a few minutes later, a Mark Cooper run on the left allowed Josh Ford an overhead kick that proved an easy save for Abbey.
Ford had a big hand in the equaliser in the 37th minute as he overlapped on the right, powered into the area and astutely pulled the ball back low for Ben Wood to score with a clinical strike into the corner from 15 yards out.
However, Frome were only level for three minutes, and as St Neot’s attacked again, a clearing header bounced and hit a defender’s hand, the referee blew for a penalty and Hilliard despatched it with ease into the top corner.
St Neot’s lead only lasted for two minutes as Frome came straight back and Wood’s long throw was headed on by Hulbert and as the ball fell at the feet of Matt Groves.
He showed his experience by finding a yard of space to turn and drive the ball high into the net from a few yards out.
The incredible match then produced another goal in seconds, as, straight from the kick off, St Neots attacked, a shot hit the post and came back to Tolley who buried chance with no problems at all.
Almost surprisingly, the three minutes left before half time failed to produce further goals.
Frome made it 3-3 in the 53rd minute after Kris MIller had won a throw in deep on the right, Wood’s long throw was headed on by Ford and Rhys Baggridge arrived at the right time to head the ball downwards and in to the net close to the near post.
St Neot’s came straight back and regained the lead within two minutes, but in a slightly controversial manner.
As the referee blew for a foul on the left of the Frome defence and was talking to a defender, St Neots took the free kick quickly and rolled the ball to Tolley who stroked the ball home unchallenged to complete his hat-trick.
Frome made it 4-4 three minutes later as a Vance free kick into the box was poked home low by Jack Vallis.
Frome went so close to taking the lead for the first time in the 61st minute as a Smith shot was parried by Abbey, and as the ball popped up invitingly for Groves, his reaction shot saw it just skim the outside of the post.
A 40-yard attempt from Miller almost went over the line with Abbey just managing to keep the ball out before Tolley could easily have helped himself to his fourth of the night but blazed over the bar from 15 yards.
Frome did take the lead in the 74th minute as a right wing Miller cross saw Hulbert flattened from behind by Ryan Frater as he went for the header. The referee pointed to the spot and MIller stroked the ball into the top corner with Abbey getting a touch to the ball.
St Neot’s Arthur Lee was shown a straight red card in the 86th minute, apparently for something he said to the official.
Matt Smith was awarded the “H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award” for a sterling performance in midfield.
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