Monday 2nd January 2017
Evo-Stik Southern Premier League
Chippenham Town 2 Frome Town 2
Frome Scorers: Jackson (13), Bryant (33)
Chippenham Scorers: Smith (25), Ferguson (78)
Star Man: Connor Roberts
Entertainment Value: 4/5
Another excellent performance from Frome extended their unbeaten run to seven games, and with a
little more luck, they could have had this match won at half time as they totally dominated the first half
with probably their best 45 minutes of the year.
Frome were pleased to welcome back Jon Davies and Darren Jefferies after a two match
suspension, and with manager Jake Jefferies finally allowed to come and watch Frome play after a
three match stadium ban, the Club were in the mood to start the new year in the same vein that they
had finished the old, in other words very well.
Frome started off kicking down the slope and started to dominate play early on, and after Mike Bryant
had shot past the far post in the 6th, they had the ball in the net two minutes later as Darren Chitty
fumbled a shot from Ollie Knight, allowing Jake Jackson to shoot home from close range, but the
celebrations were cut short as the linesman raised his flag for offside and the goal was disallowed.
Chitty again rode his luck three minutes later as a Jon Davies was fizzed in low and the ball bounced
off the keeper’s body to safety, but the pressure eventually told in the 13th minute as, following a
corner, Davies produced a perfectly flighted, pacy, curling free kick that landed on the head of the
unmarked Jackson and the ball flew unerringly into the top corner to give Frome a deserved lead.
Chippenham’s Will Richards was shown a yellow for clattering Davies as Frome played their way out
of trouble with two “nutmegs” in as many seconds, and Davies went very close in the 22nd as he
waltzed through five or six tackles before curling a left foot shot past the far post.
Kyle Phillips made his first save of the match in the 24th as he made a good save from a curling MIke
Pook free kick, but then, against the run of play, Chippenham equalised with their first real attack of
the match as ex Robin Matt Smith struck a clean low shot past Phillips from the edge of the box,
though Frome were appealing strongly for a foul in the run up to the shooting opportunity.
Frome made it 2-1 in the 33rd as a lovely move on the left saw Jackson produce a superb through
ball that allowed Davies a clean run on goal, as as he side stepped a tackle, he let fly with a shot that
Chitty could only parry into the path of Mike Bryant who made no mistake as he side footed the ball
into the empty goal from ten yards out.
Frome very nearly made it 3-1 in the 46th as a Marcus Mapstone header following a corner thumped
against the underside of the Chippenham bar before rebounding to safety, and a 3-1 lead at half time
would certainly not have flattered Frome as they had produced a superb first of intelligent, passing
football that Chippenham were struggling to deal with.
Experience has taught that Chippenham tend to be a very different proposition playing down the
slope, as they tend to invite teams to play long, simple balls over the midfield, and after winning the
header, they then attack with pace through the empty space in the middle of the park, but this Frome
team obviously knew about the tactic and cleverly played the ball through midfield when attacking,
but always had bodies defending the space when Chippenham attacked.
The second half started with Frome dominating possession and territory for the first quarter hour, but
Chippenham looking increasing sharp and slightly faster to the ball, and as the half progressed the
match became more of an “end to end” affair, with the ball seemingly refusing to fall kindly for Frome
and Chippenham looking increasingly dangerous from set pieces.
Sure enough, after Frome had defended two free kicks in dangerous positions, Chippenham made it
2-2 in the 78th as a right wing corner was swung across the face of the area and Alex Ferguson
struck the ball low into the corner with a sweetly struck strike that cheered up the home fans.
With twelve minutes left to play, Chippenham would perhaps have been expected to go for the
winner, but it was Frome who produced the more chances in the final minutes with George Miller
close to getting his head to a Davies cross and substitute Dean Griffiths producing an overhead kick
following a free kick that landed on the roof of Chitty’s goal.
For Frome to lose this game would have been a sickening blow and the travelling supporters held
their breath as Chippenham were awarded a free kick 5 yards outside the area in the 93rd minute,
but the wall did its job and despite an intense last few seconds, good defending saved the day and
Frome came away with a very well deserved point.
Centre half Connor Roberts was awarded the H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award, and despite
having his hands full marking the league’s top scorer Andy Sandell (21 goals) , it was to the young
defender’s credit that Sandell hardly had a kick.