IT MAY have been Bonfire night yesterday, but there were certainly fireworks at Dunley Way this morning as Frolesworth United's game against FC Hoskins was postponed six minutes from time with the Rabbits leading 2-0.
Official Mark Connelly called proceedings to a halt in the 84th minute after dismissing two FC Hoskins players inside five minutes, before the visitors simply stormed off the park to leave the bewildered referee with little option but to abandon the game.
United returned to their dressing room to find their door had been kicked off its hinges, completely stunning the home side in what was undoubtedly the most petulant and embarrassing series of events that the Country Boys have endured during their three-year stint in the Alliance League Division One.
The headlines should have belonged to striker Joe Cook, who returned to the side for the first time in three weeks to fire a brace in a man of the match performance, which kept United's early promotion hopes alive.
It was the perfect response following last week's disappointing exit in the FA Intermediate Cup at the hands of Sunbury United, meaning United have won all three home games at Steve Rendall Park so far this campaign.
Manager Ben Harris made five changes to the side that slipped to defeat at Rushey Fields, one of which was enforced, as club secretary Luke Evans made his first appearance of the season at the expense of Sam Green, who will be unavailable until after Christmas after suffering from a broken hand.
Club captain Evans went on to perform admirably, too, despite surviving a scare when the visitors thumped an upright and he also bravely continued after being involved in a horrendous collision midway through the second-half, which left him crumpled in a heap on the ground struggling for breath.
Harvey Morgan returned to the back-four for the first time since the 3-3 opening day draw at Mowmacre Hill and was predictably booked inside three minutes, alongside Jack Boulton, who was unusually employed at left-back in Max Hallam's place. Mark James and Sam Pratt both retained their places in defence, but Tom Stokes returned to the midfield on the right at the expense of Dan Morrow, who dropped to the bench.
Harris named Cook up front alongside preferred strike-partner Callum Wills for only the third time this season and the precedent was set early on as Morgan received his second booking in as many games with a thunderous sliding challenge almost immediately from the off.
But it was United who set the frenetic tempo soon after through the marvellous Jack Sutherland, who was a constant threat on the Frolesworth left. It was his devastating counter-attack that led to the opening goal just shy of the half-hour, as he slipped the pacy Wills through on the near side before he unselfishly fed Cook.
The former Coventry City man was coolness personified as he raced clean through, before effortlessly rounding the stranded keeper and confidently slotting home with his weaker foot. Cook would have been disappointed that he didn't double the hosts' advantage soon after though, as he blazed over from inside the six-yard box after another teasing cross from Sutherland.
Hoskins had barely threatened in the opening half, but they began more purposefully after the restart and were desperately unlucky not to square things up 10 minutes into the second period. United were carved open for the first time during the game on the far side and a sumptuous ball across the face of the goal looked destined to breach Evans' goal, only for the onrushing opponent to thump the post from close range.
It was a huge let off for Frolesworth, but they duly responded through Cook, who put the game beyond the visitors' grasp with a tremendous solo goal merely eight minutes later. He out-muscled the defender before turning and firing a vicious low drive goalwards, which squirmed beneath the Hoskins goalkeeper from 20-yards.
However, it served only to ignite absolute chaos thereafter, as the visitors completely self-destructed in the most opprobrious fashion with two dismissals in a matter of minutes. Firstly, Wills was on the receiving end of a horrendous two-footed lunge when he was bearing through on goal, which left him pole-axed on the edge of the opposition penalty area.
A melee then ensued involving the already cautioned Morgan whilst the youngster was being stretchered off, before his replacement, Harry Simmons, caused the game to continue its ill-tempered manner immediately after his introduction.
The target man was caught up alongside two visiting players in the near-side corner, resulting in the opposing goalkeeper hurling the ball into the face of the striker for which he received his marching orders.
Simmons himself was booked for his part in the fracas, but what was to follow was quite simply astounding. Trailing 2-0 and down to just nine-men, several of the opposing players refused to continue and with just six minutes remaining, they headed towards the dressing room. The home side returned to find their door had been booted off its hinges, as the disagreement continued to boil over in the tunnel.
There will undoubtedly be severe repercussions for FC Hoskins, who Frolesworth have taken four points from already this campaign. The result of this game should certainly still stand, although United will now be eagerly awaiting the outcome of a probe from the Football Association with regards to the result.
Should they be awarded three points for this clash, which is highly likely, and also a home win after Thurmaston WMP 2009 failed to fulfill their fixture at Dunley Way, United will be catapulted to the top of the division with 13 points from just six league games.
It's a shame then, that Frolesworth will be without a fixture next week as the other four teams in their Arthur Moore Cup Group C play. Manager Ben Harris though, will undoubtedly be focusing his attention on his side's league form after their most promising start to a campaign during his tenureship.
FROLESWORTH (4-4-2) - EVANS 8, PRATT 8, JAMES (C) 8, MORGAN 8 , BOULTON 8, STOKES 7, PANTONY 8, FENNON 8, SUTHERLAND 9, WILLS 8, COOK 9 (MOM)
SUBS - MORROW 7, SPLEVINGS 7, SIMMONS 6
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