CALOR LEAGUE SOUTHERN PREMIER DIVISION: Frome Town 0 Stourbridge 2
AFTER a run of seven unbeaten home games, Frome Town suffered their first home defeat as they conceded two early goals and, despite a better second half from the home team, play-off certainties Stourbridge always looked capable of defending their lead.
After the nine-goal thriller during the week, everyone was looking forward to this match as the previous encounter at Stourbridge had led to a 7-0 drubbing for Frome.
Frome kept faith with the same starting line up as in midweek, and included new signing, from Southampton, Jamal Branker on the bench.
For the second match running, the visitors were very fast out the blocks and the first five minutes saw the ball constantly in and around the Frome penalty area.
Almost before Frome had any possession, the first goal arrived in the fifth minute as an inswinging right wing corner was headed home easily at the near post by Stourbridge’s Leon Broadhurst.
The pressure continued to be applied on the home goal, and after Darren Chitty was relieved to see a long-range shot from Drew Canavan miss the post after a poor clearance kick had left an open goal, Stourbridge doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute.
A left-wing cross looked to be covered by Mark Cooper, but he seemed to duck under the ball, allowing Kyle Haynes to sneak in behind and slide the ball into the net, and at this stage, the 2-0 scoreline fully reflected the opening stages of the game.
At this stage it looked as if a physically strong and skilful Stourbridge side would go on and dominate the match, but Frome kept plugging away and as the match moved towards the interval, they started to make inroads into the visitors' half.
Matt Smith went close in the 33rd minute and Ben Wood brought a save from Dean Coleman just before half time.
Frome made a double substitution during the break as Jamal Branker and Ben Thomson replaced Matt Groves and Ricky Hulbert, and the two combined well early on to set up a shot for Rhys Baggridge that thudded into Coleman’s chest.
The home side looked much better now and continuously tried to find way through the well-marshalled, solid Stourbridge defence, with Ben Woods' long throw and corners always threatening to produce something.
But it never really happened, and apart from a couple of trademark Thomson runs that ended with shots into the keeper, Stourbridge always looked comfortable and could well have increased their winning margin right at the end as Brian Smikle had a big chance that ended up going wide of the far post.
Smith was awarded the H&B Tyres Man of the Man Award for the second match in a row by representatives of match sponsors Blindmans’s Brewery for another excellent performance in midfield.
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