** GLEN PARVA 4-1 FROLESWORTH UNITED**
AN INJURY-ravaged Frolesworth United side concluded their 2010/11 campaign with a heavy defeat at the hands of free-scoring Glen Parva at Dorothy Avenue on Sunday morning, with Jack Boulton netting the Rabbits’ consolation goal with just seven minutes remaining.
Boulton, who has earnt himself a reputation for scoring late goals this season, bagged his fourth goal of the campaign with a smart turn and shot late on, but it proved to be too little too late for United, who couldn’t recover from a disastrous start.
The visitors had found themselves trailing 4-0 at the break, after goals from Luke Dyke, Craig Sutton and a brace from Steve Chapman meant that high-flying Parva had rattled in an incredible 24 goals in just 225 minutes of football and it could have been more had Daniel Carvin not made a superb penalty save.
Frolesworth’s injury crisis meant that manager Ben Harris would have to start himself up front at the expense of injured assistant Jordan Halford, otherwise his side would have to begin the match with just 10 men.
Carvin made his first start of the season between the sticks in the absence of both Luke Evans and Matt Errington, though three of the back-four remained intact after last week’s 3-2 win away at promotion-chasing Perrin Rangers.
Matt Pell was handed the captaincy at right-back, while Boulton returned alongside Mark Baker and Martin Finnigan in the absence of Mark James, who had previously featured in every match so far this season.
Greg Garner returned on the right-hand side of midfield in front of Joe Swanwick and Martin Fennon in the holding role, with Miles Splevings returning on the left and last week’s match-winner Jake Pantony in the middle.
But the visitors could only prevent the deadlock from being broken for just 17 minutes, as a series of errors gifted the hosts the opener.
Finnigan was the first guilty party, after he wasted possession deep into the Glen Parva half with a throw-in on the near side before Polish striker Lucasz Tabaka raced clear of Baker and supplied a teasing cross across the face of the goalmouth for Chapman to convert.
Harris, who had failed to have any impact on his own up-front, was then replaced by youngster Harry Simmons, who made his debut, but the Clarets found themselves two-goals down just 11 minutes later.
It was from means rather more direct on this occasion though, as captain Pell was beaten to a long-throw by Sutton and he headed home from close range.
It was painfully obvious that United had nothing to play for, as they churned out arguably their worst performance of the season in the opening period and they found themselves 3-0 down just three minutes later when further lacklustre defending allowed Dyke this time to waltz through and confidently dispatch into the far corner.
And unsurprisingly, matters were made even worse with seven minutes to go until the break when Chapman helped himself to another, before Tabaka was hauled down by the onrushing Carvin. However, the goalkeeper made amends for his mistake with a superb, sprawling save to salvage the slightest bit of pride for his team.
With the result beyond doubt, manager Harris then reluctantly shuffled the pack at the request of his team and changed to a 4-4-2 formation, but he may be more inclined to play his players out of position as the Country Boys improved vastly after the break and failed to concede any further goals.
The makeshift back-four comprised of Pantony at right-back, wingers Garner and Splevings in the middle and Swanwick on the left, while Finnigan moved alongside Fennon in the holding role, the only player not to move out of position.
Captain for the day Pell moved to the left-hand side of midfield, with Simmons on the right meaning that this season’s reliable centre-half pairing of Boulton and Baker led the line up-top as United certainly looked to adopt a more direct philosophy.
And after a long wait of 38 minutes into the second-half, it finally paid dividends much to the amusement of the wryly-smiling Harris who watched Boulton turn and fire an unstoppable drive into the top corner for what proved to be an enjoyable finish to a difficult season.
And so, The Rabbits finished in 6th place for the second successive season in the Alliance League Division One with a total of 20 points from 18 league games, six short of last season’s tally but having played four less games.
Harris also guided his team to the F.A Intermediate Cup Quarter-Final, as United continue to make slow progress with each passing season. It’s onwards and upwards for Frolesworth, as they will be seeking success next season at pastures new, as they are forced to reluctantly leave their beloved Hall Park home behind.
We'll keep the claret flag flying high, Frolesworth United will never die.
FROLESWORTH: CARVIN 7, PELL (C) 6, BAKER 6, BOULTON 7, FINNIGAN 6, SWANWICK 6, FENNON 6, PANTONY 6, GARNER 6, SPLEVINGS 6, 6, HARRIS 6. SUBS – SIMMONS 6.
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