Red Devil Surfacing
Time is Precious
Monday 26th December 2016
Evo-Stik Southern Premier League
Frome Town 1 Basingstoke Town 1
Frome Scorers: Bryant (64)
Basingstoke Scorers: Jarvis (13)
Star Man: Carl Crabtree
Entertainment Value: 4/5
Another excellent performance from a severely depleted Frome Town side saw them come back from
a 1-0 deficit to snatch a point with a goal from Mike Bryant and a man of the match performance in
goal from Carl Crabtree playing his first match of the season.
Despite Frome’s superb sixth place in the League, the squad has been been very small this season
and with a combination of suspensions for Jon Davies, Darren Jefferies, injuries to Dan Cleverley,
Jordan Walker and Mitchell Page and with Kyle Phillips, Chris Gregan and Aidan Kirby unavailable,
Frome just about managed to put a side out, with goalkeeping coach Andy Crabtree’s son Carl taking
his place between the sticks for his first game of the season.
Frome had won 3-1 at Basingstoke on August Bank Holiday Monday and despite with Basingstoke
having been relegated last season and reputedly still running a fully professional team, their lowly
league position was a bit of a surprise.
In front of a good Boxing Day crowd of 366, Frome very nearly took the lead in the 2nd minute as a
low Sam Teale header from a George Miller free kick was fumbled off the line by Alex Tokarczyk for a
corner, but the match soon settled into a fairly even affair with Frome probably shading possession
and territory, but Basingstoke looking dangerous on the counter attack.
After Marcus Mapstone had picked up a debatable yellow card for a firm tackle, Basingstoke took the
lead as the free kick was won at the far post by Aaron Redford and Aaron Jarvis then found himself
unmarked in the area and side-footed the ball into the corner of the goal giving Crabtree no real
Frome immediately came back and brought regulation saves from Tokaryczyk with headers from
George Miller and Mike Bryant, and Mapstone went close with a downward header following a corner,
but the ball never seemed to fall cleanly for a golden opportunity and Basingstoke very nearly
doubled their lead in the 28th as Jarvis bundled over Connor Roberts and raced through on goal,
only to be denied by the legs of Crabtree as he dived low to save.
Crabtree produced an excellent double save three minutes later to deny Redford from close range as
Basingstoke again threatened and he produced a superb save to tip a free kick over the bar after
Roberts had been penalised for a “virtual” foul.
Frome survived the scares and brought two more regulation saves from Tokarczyk and with a goal
bound Jake Jackson shot being just blocked, that first ever Boxing Day goal since they joined the
Southern League was looking a little unlikely.
The first minute of the second half saw Basingstoke’s left back George Bennett nudge the ball past
his keeper into the net for an own goal, only for the referee to disallow the goal for a nudge on
Bennett by Dean Griffiths, and with Bryant going close with a shot and George Miller bring a save in
the 7th, Frome looked more lively.
With Clayton Green having one of his best matches for Frome in midfield, they started to have all the
possession and territory, and it paid off in the 64th minute as Green hit a chipped through ball and
Ollie Knight performed an acrobatic miracles to somehow get the ball back into the box and Mike
Bryant was on hand to break the jinx and equalise for the home side.
Basingstoke were stung into action following the goal, and Crabtree did very well to come out and
save at the feet of the dangerous Nana Ourusu as the winger burst through on goal, and the
momentum was now shifting to the visitors.
Basingstokes Joe Gater was shown a “delayed yellow” for a foul on Jackson after the referee had
played the advantage, and it came back to haunt him a few minutes later as he barged into Crabtree
following a corner and he was shown a second yellow and sent from the field.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the visitors probably had the best of the last ten minutes, and
with Frome not really having a viable option on the bench, they played no substitutions and the
eleven players on the pitch can be justifiably proud of their efforts in extending Frome’s unbeten run
to six games and consolidating their sixth place position.
Goalkeeper Carl Crabtree was justifiably awarded the H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award by Bo
Vincent who had sponsored the match and no doubt he will be reminding his Dad of that for a few
years to come.