MATCH REPORT: St Neots Town 3 Frome Town 1
For the second match in a row, Frome Town conceded two early goals, came back into it but conceded a third late on.
With Matt Smith and Aaron Ledgister both unavailable due to illness, captain Bryan Smith and Lloyd Matthews both released by the club and Kurt Hammonds still suspended, the depleted Robins squad could only manage to take 13 players to this match.
Frome were unlucky not to take the lead early on as a poor goal kick from Nathan Abbey allowed top scorer Ben Wood to control the ball and thunder a 25-yarder against the St Neots crossbar.
However, they went behind in the 12th minute when a shot was blocked by a Frome defender, only for Matt Nolan to rifle home an unstoppable shot as he was the first to react to the loose ball.
Abbey’s kicking was again suspect in the 20th minute and this time the ball ended up with Brandon Mundy on the left wing, from where another long-range effort landed just over the bar to the relief of the home keeper. With Frome pushing Ricky Hulbert forward from midfield, they started to look more pro-active.
However, Ryan Frater had a shot well saved for St Neots in the 33rd minute and Nolan then netted his second goal four minutes later, heading home a cross from Lewis Wilson, who had far too much time and space on the left.
Frome really needed an early goal in the second half and it duly arrived in the 58th minute when Tim Stephenson intercepted a pass, allowing Hulbert to clip the ball to Rhys Baggridge, who controlled it on his chest and hit a sweet 25-yard shot past Abbey, with the hint of a deflection along the way.
Abbey did well to save a Mark Cooper free-kick at full stretch but, just as Frome looked like they might be coming back into the game, the greasy ball deceived visiting keeper Darren Chitty and he spilled a left-wing cross, allowing Simon Thomas an easy tap in for St Neots' third.
Baggridge had a golden chance to pull one back a minute later but he shot wide from six yards out with Abbey on the floor.
Cooper was then shown a straight red card shortly afterwards as the match finished on a low note for the Robins.
Tim Stephenson was awarded the H&B Tyres man of the match award for an outstanding performance in the heart of the defence.