Frome Town fight back to beat Hitchin Town in Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division
MATCH REPORT: Frome Town 2, Hitchin Town 1
“It was a massive three points for us,” said manager Darren Perrin after Frome Town survived a torrid first half-hour before beating Hitchin Town to climb out of the relegation zone and up four places.
The Robins were grateful to goalkeeper Darren Chitty for keeping them in the match before goals six minutes either side of half-time proved enough for victory.
After an even first few minutes, Hitchin started to turn the screw and looked a far better side than their league position would suggest. The fourth minute saw a Lewis Toomey header skim the base of a a post and Callum Donnelly then let fly with a 20-yarder that thudded into Chitty’s chest.
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The pressure paid off in the 11th minute when a crisp passing move carved through the Frome defence to allow Toomey to coolly lob the ball over Chitty and into the net.
A couple of minutes later, the league’s leading goalscorer John Frendo was denied as Chitty saved bravely at his feet, but the Frome keeper's second save as Toomey swiveled and unleashed a screamer from 18 yards was top class. The pressure was only relieved when Lawrie Stewart blazed over the bar.
Having weathered the storm, Frome started to look better and Mitchell Bryant managed to break through and run onto through balls several times.
The equaliser duly arrived in the 39th minute when a right-wing corner was hit deep to the far post and Matt Smith crouched and headed the ball towards goal, only for the unlucky Dean Gilbert to get the last touch and head the ball into his own net.
Frome finished the half the stronger and continued the momentum after the break. They took the lead when a Rob Hobbs cross found Jordan Copp 10 yards from goal and his first touch saw the ball hit the ground and bounce up, but he reacted quickly and produced an amazing overhead kick that flew cleanly into the net.
Despite the pressure, the third goal would not come and Frome were again indebted to Chitty as he produced a stunning save in the 73rd minute to deny Toomey a headed goal, and he was again on hand a few minutes later as he pushed a Frendo shot around the post for a corner.
As the Frome pressure subsided, the visitors started to make all the running and the last quarter saw the home support nervously checking their watches as Hitchin always looked likely to equalise, but the Frome defence held firm.