Frome: Brown, Cooper, O’Loughlin, Teale, Mapstone, Lenihan, Monks Hobbs, Smith, Mannings, Cottle Subs: Peck, Maidment, Hallett, Gorman, Ellington Goals: Cottle, Mannings
Man of the match: Mannings
Frome Town came away from a tough challenge at Cirencester on Tuesday evening with a valuable 3 points that takes them back to the summit of the league table, albeit having played a couple of games more than their nearest rivals. Jon Davies and Warren Maidment were out with injuries, replaced by Martin Lenihan and Dan Cottle in the starting 11.
On an artificial surface that seemed to suit Frome’s style of play but where Cirencester has a strong record it was always going to be difficult. The first real chance fell to the hosts when a low drive forced Rob Brown into an excellent diving save but from this point on Frome took control and launched wave after wave of threatening attacks through the pace of Cottle and Mannings with mainly the linesman’s flag bringing them to a halt.
The breakthrough came on 23 minutes when a defensive header back to the goalkeeper dropped short and Cottle beat him to the ball to dribble round for an easy tap in. Then after 37 minutes a superb pass from Sam Teale split the home defence and Mannings was on hand to add to his already impressive tally this season with a cool finish. It really was exhibition football with pace and one touch passing that it seemed more goals were inevitable.
The second half started in a similar vein with the home goalkeeper called on to make 3 good saves in the opening 10 minutes, missed opportunities which could have proved costly. Cirencester adjusted their formation and went on a full focus assault on the Frome goal and as the visitors began to tire and drop deeper the hosts created a number of chances.
On 69 minutes a cross from the right was punched away by Brown only to be redelivered from the other side where a scramble in the 6 yard box eventually saw it in the back of the net. They continued to apply pressure for the rest of the game, Frome defending resolutely and restricted to the odd breakaway without really threatening the Cirencester goal and there was relief when the final whistle blew.
An impressive result against a team that will be challenging at the top of the table come the end of the season.