**FROLESWORTH UNITED 4-0 AFC HURRICANES**
JAKE Pantony hit a fantastic double to send Frolesworth top of the Arthur Moore cup Group C, as the Rabbits mustered four goals for the second successive outing and exacted revenge on AFC Hurricanes for their opening day defeat.
The midfield maestro opened the scoring with a composed finish, before adding his second late on either side of captain Craig Rowbottom’s scorcher and Luke Evans’ low free-kick.
Manager Ben Harris turned his attentions to the cup after witnessing his side pick up their first points last week, and was fazed with four casualties from the side that disposed of fellow-strugglers Niffy Rangers.
Curiously, it was the front four from Frolesworth’s side that were missing, with Dan Morrow, Greg Garner, Miles Splevings and Chris Bradshaw all absent. As a result, Harris thrust Pantony further forward and brought in Steven Bottom alongside skipper Rowbottom.
Evans, who kept goal last week, was forced to lead the line, with Martin Finnigan on the right and Matt Rains, making only his second ever appearance for United on the left.
And it was indeed Rains that was United’s goal threat early on, when he combined nicely with Evans who back-heeled the ball back to the winger, only for his shot to be blocked for a corner.
Pantony was also looking menacing in his more advanced role and after a positive start, it was he who gave the hosts a well-deserved lead. The little number 8 stole possession 30-yards from goal, before another jinking run saw him go clean through.
But once he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, he wasn’t daunted and was coolness personified as he effortlessly rolled the ball around him and ironically punted the ball into the empty net with his weaker foot.
But Pantony was remarkably to be outdone by his captain Rowbottom, who after waiting over two years for his first Rabbits goal struck his second in just three weeks with an absolute gem.
He recovered possession from a Frolesworth corner and was urged to shoot by the Frolesworth faithful before he unleashed a thunderous drive, which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
The Country Boys had dominated proceedings throughout, but Harris was conscious to put the game to bed with a goal in the second period and it came earlier than he had wished, through Evans, who bagged is second of the season.
After a surging run, Rains was brought down on the edge of the box and up stepped Evans, to drill the ball around the wall and into the far corner.
Frolesworth were now in cruise control and it was the perfect foil for Pantony to showcase his wizardry. He set on another slaloming run, where he dinked the ball over the head of two fledging defenders before curling a opulent shot off the upright, much to his frustration.
But he wasn’t to be denied again for much longer, and he put a gloss on the scoreline when he met Mark Baker’s defence splitting free-kick with a cheeky lobbed finish with his weaker foot.
Matt Errington had been kept quiet in the United goal thus far, but even he would earn his striped five minutes from time when second half substitute Jordan Halford threatened to butcher his clean sheet.
He got himself into all sorts of trouble when attempting to bring down a routine pass on the edge of the box, and the assistant manager was then harshly adjudged to have pulled back the Hurricanes striker. However, Errington ensured the Clarets goal would lead a charmed life, when he clung onto a weak spot kick low to his left.
Manager Ben Harris will have been absolutely ecstatic at his improving side’s second victory on the spin in front of new signing Chris Capell, and will be hoping to progress through to the next round of the Intermediate Cup when they travel to Beaumont Leys to face Horse next week.
Another win would see the Rabbits hit form just in time for their biggest game of the season so far, when they return to Alliance League Division One action against high-flying rivals Sparta Moshdock at Horsewell Lane on October 10th.
FROLESWORTH: ERRINGTON, JAMES (80 FOR HALFORD), BAKER, BOULTON, PELL, ROWBOTTOM, BOTTOM, RAINS, PANTONY, FINNIGAN, EVANS.
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