Away league match played on 28 April 2010.
Kicked off at 6:30 AM



FROLESWORTH United battled out a superb point in a hostile environment at Narborough Bog on Wednesday evening with a proud and spirited display.


Jordan Halford’s unbeaten record in charge of the Rabbits this season remained in tact thanks to Luke Hammond, who struck his seventh goal of the campaign just after the break to give the visitors the lead.


But the home side hit back in contentious circumstances to set up a grandstand finale and the caretaker heaped praise on his players after holding on for a point hailing them as, ‘absolutely terrific.’


Halford was left with a crisis on his hands, as no fewer than four players from Sunday’s draw with Trinity Old Boys were unavailable. Steven Bottom, Greg Garner, Miles Splevings and club captain Craig Rowbottom were all absent through injury and forward Joe Cook faced a race against time after his delayed flight back from Fuertaventura.


Striker Chris Bradshaw was drafted in on an emergency loan deal and went straight into the fold as the lone-striker, with Sam Jacques, the other recruit, making the bench.


Matt Errington returned between the sticks, Jack Rudman returned at left-back after being rested and Luke Evans moved into midfield alongside Jake Pantony and Martin Fennon, while Hammond and Martin Finnigan were employed on the flanks.


Frolesworth were quick out of the blocks and Bradshaw and Hammond showed an early glimpse of what was in store as the two combined for the latter to shoot. The Country Boys then forced a flood of corners, but Pantony’s set-piece delivery leaved much to be desired.


In a largely uneventful first-half, Evans drove weakly at the goalkeeper from long-range and Pantony curled a decent effort wide, but neither side threatened to break the deadlock.


Halford sent his charges out in search of the opener in the second period, instructing Pantony to drift into a free role and provide the impressive, but isolated Bradshaw with support and his wisdom had an immediate effect.


Matt Pell dispossessed Matty Clarke in the right corner, before Pantony picked the ball up inside his own half and did precisely what made him his name. Driving at the heart of the defence, he shimmied to the left and right in unstoppable fashion before slipping through Bradshaw with an inch-perfect pass.


The debutant closed in on goal and looked destined to score but he outwitted everybody, including Pantony, who had continued his devastating run, and squared for the onrushing Hammond to bury his second in as many outings.


Pantony demonstrated an outrageous piece of skill shortly after the goal, slipping the ball through the legs of his opponent with a Cryuff turn before being mauled in his own half, but to his and the Frolesworth bench’s astonishment the referee waved play on.


Falling a goal behind had visibly rattled the hosts who began to combat Frolesworth’s delicate play with a physical approach and the Clarets were fortunate to remain ahead after the home side contrived to miss two gilt-edged chances.


However, the Frolesworth backline was getting deeper and inviting pressure and they couldn’t repel the inevitable for much longer, although Hurricanes’ leveller had an air of controversy about it as several of the home side’s players looked to be in an offside position.


The disgraceful Danny McNulty was then fortunate not to be dismissed, after he was booked for an unsavoury and foul-mouthed outburst at the official, another example of the failure of the FA’s ‘Respect’ campaign.


The game appeared to be heading for a draw, but Halford felt his side had one more chance left in them and Jacques then entered off the bench at the expense of the hard-working Finnigan for his first appearance of the season.


Astonishingly then Cook, who had arrived at the Bog with just ten minutes to go following an arduous journey, was thrust on in place of Evans, who, himself made a fantastic defensive block, and so very nearly stole the points in what would have been a fairytale ending.


Fennon, who grafted tirelessly throughout in the engine room, set Hammond free down the left with a killer through ball and the goal scorer evaded the attentions of the goalkeeper before delivering a teasing cross towards the back stick.


Bradshaw then sent a textbook header downwards across goal towards Cook, but he couldn’t poke the ball home and it was scrambled away from beneath the crossbar.


There was still time for Bradshaw to horribly miscue a volley from fully 30-yards, which sat up perfectly for him to be the hero, but he and the Frolly faithful would have been in dreamland had he rattled one in from that range.


And so, the Rabbits had to settle for a point in an entertaining contest, which summarises perfectly how far the team has come in the past 12 months.


Frolesworth host Welford Victoria at the Warren this Sunday in their final game of the season and with the camaraderie, desire and passion they have demonstrated of late to retain their Division One status, they will be hugely confident of finishing the season on a high note.


For Every Man A Religion.


The People's Club.



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