Home league match played on 11 December 2011.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM
Harry Simmons headed home a dramatic 90th minute equaliser as a gallant Frolesworth United side astonishingly scored four goals in the final 23 minutes to miraculously fight back from 5-1 down against local rivals Dunton & Broughton Rangers and salvage a valuable point at Dunley Way on Sunday morning.
Second-half substitute Simmons looped his header over a despairing goalkeeper to spark pandemonium on the touchline after Joe Cook's tap-in just 80 seconds earlier had made the seemingly impossible a genuine possibility.
The hosts found themselves trailing 5-1 with just 23 minutes remaining when winger Miles Splevings fired home what looked like a consolation, before Callum Wills bagged his second of the morning to renew Frolesworth's belief with 16 minutes to play.
Cook then converted from close range in the dying seconds after Dominic Ivens' spectacular bicycle kick had somehow been turned away to ensure a nail-biting finale for Rangers before Simmons completed the most memorable of comebacks in what truly was one of, if not the most incredible game Frolesworth have ever been involved in.
Striker Wills had earlier headed United in front after just six minutes, before it went horribly wrong for Ben Harris' side, who shipped four soft goals, including another penalty before the break. The furious manager swiftly made two changes, but matters were to be made worse as Adam Celiz fired home a delicious fifth for the visitors before the fightback began.
Harris made a staggering five changes from the side that slipped to a last-minute defeat away at bottom side Thurmaston Progressive WMC 2009 a fortnight ago, including three changes to the back-four.
Sam Pratt returned at right-back at the expense of the makeshift Sam Green, whilst on the other side Harris sought to solve his left-back crisis with chairman Josh Baines. Captain Mark James returned at centre-half alongside Daniel Herring, who switched places with Harvey Morgan, who was employed in the heart of midfield.
He was joined by the talismanic Jake Pantony and returning winger Tom Stokes, as pacy wide-man Splevings retained his place on the right. This meant that the formidable partnership of Cook and Wills returned up front and it was the latter who gave the home side the advantage almost immediately.
The 18-year-old returned to form with a brace at Garden Street two weeks ago and he picked up where he had left off, heading home Pantony's floated delivery.
It was the third time in as many games that United had snatched an early lead, but typically it wasn't to last much longer as just 12 minutes later, Dunton & Broughton drew themselves level courtesy of Tom Payne.
Harris could only watch on in despair 10 minutes later, too, when his side would completely surrender their lead in the most embarrassing of fashions. Pantony found himself in a spot of bother deep inside his own half, but instead of electing to hoof the ball to safety, the cultured midfielder put pressure on his goalkeeper Luke Evans, who in turn completely fluffed his lines from the attempted clearance.
The ball fell invitingly to striker Mark Bradbury and with the goal at his mercy, James hauled the striker down to concede Frolesworth's third penalty in as many games and was once again punished when Payne helped himself to a second.
The visitors had their tails up now and remarkably just eight minutes later they had their third, when Bradbury this time smashed the crossbar from close range, before simply heading into an empty net for 3-1.
United's defending had once again been cataclysmic and they had both the crossbar and Pratt to thank for keeping them in the game shortly after, when Payne once again breached United's fleeting defence before rounding the stranded Evans and firing goalwards. The right-back, however, failed to give up on the cause and chased back to divert the ball off the goal-line before Cook spurned a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears.
And instead, Ben Laxton would make it 4-1 to the visitors on the stroke of half time to completely infuriate an already apoplectic Harris on the touchline.
The Yorkshireman revealed a few home truths in the dressing room at the break and with his side's performance so abhorrent in the first 45 minutes he decided to throw caution to the wind, replacing the injured Morgan with Dominic Ivens for his first appearance in over three months.
Ginger-haired winger Dan Morrow was also re-introduced as a makeshift left-back this time after failing to make the squad against Thurmaston and the two inspired substitutions would completely turn this game on its head, although not immediately.
United began the second period much more purposefully, with Splevings the unlikely instigator. He hadn't tested Rangers left-back Alec Christie in the opening exchanges, but he gave him a torrid time after the break and his sumptuous cross across the goalmouth was turned agonisingly over the crossbar by Stokes to Harris' dismay.
And typically, United were ruthlessly punished for their ineptitude in front of goal when Celiz beat Pratt with three stepovers and unleashed a thunderous strike into the top corner to make it 5-1.
Game over, or not.
Splevings grabbed his side by the scruff of the neck, latching onto a loose ball after Ivens' meaty challenge in the middle of the park and he galloped forward unchallenged before unleashing a powerful drive into the bottom corner to make it 5-2.
Whilst it initially appeared to be a consolation, it served to completely galvanise the home side who grabbed another just nine minutes later courtesy of Wills.
Morrow's future at the club had been called into question after he inexplicably missed United's last outing, but exiled as a left-back, he more than made up for that combining with Stokes and Wills to form a deadly left-hand side and after some neat build-up, the latter cut inside to fire home his second at the near post.
United began to pepper the nervy visitors' goal with the forward-thinking Morrow twice denied and Cook, who had been quiet by his own admission, twice coming close. He unleashed a spectacular bicycle-kick, which was parried by the goalkeeper and then diverted onto the crossbar but in spite of Frolesworth celebrations, the referee waved play on.
The former Coventry City man then sent a wonderful curling effort narrowly wide of the post as the tide had completely turned and he was to deservedly grab a fourth for the hosts just 80 seconds from time, when Ivens' very own acrobatic scissor kick was somehow turned away only as far as Cook, who smashed home from inside the six-yard box.
There was no time to stop for breath in this truly pulsating encounter and with less than a minute remaining, United had somehow given themselves a lifeline.
Chaos promptly ensued as James' long-throw in was only headed partially clear towards Pantony, who nodded it back into the danger area for late substitute Simmons to defy belief and powerfully head a looping effort into the far corner to preserve United's unbeaten home record and spark memorable scenes of pure jubilation on the touchline and a sea of sky blue shirts piled on top of him.
Never before has the cliche, 'a game of two halves' been more appropriate, but in truth, United only played well for the best part of 20 minutes in what simply was the greatest game of football those present at Dunley Way are ever likely to witness.
The miraculous fightback will give United a much needed confidence boost ahead of Sunday's trip to Horsewell Lane to face Niffy Rangers, as the Rabbits go in search of their first away win in the league this season but manager Harris knows that this result can't paper over the cracks that have recently appeared in his defence, which has shipped an incredible 14 goals in just three games.
Nonetheless, an improvement away from home in the new year and a win on Sunday will boost United's promotion hopes and give the players and fans alike a very Merry Christmas indeed.
Don't you just love football?
UNITED - EVANS (C) 6, PRATT 6, HERRING 6, JAMES 6, BAINES 6, SPLEVINGS 8, MORGAN 6, PANTONY 8, STOKES 6, COOK 7, WILLS 9
SUBS - IVENS 9, MORROW 9, SIMMONS 8
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