Home league match played on 11 September 2011.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

TOM STOKES' second-half brace helped a hard-working Frolesworth side on their way to a first league win at their new home, before Joe Cook wrapped up a wonderful afternoon for the Rabbits with his first of the campaign two minutes from time.


The hosts had been frustrated by a well-organised and disciplined Horse for the best part of an hour, but Stokes' sublime curling effort gave United a richly deserved lead after both Cook and Dominic Ivens had rattled the woodwork.


The impressive Stokes then doubled his side's advantage with a well-timed volley in the 74th minute, before Cook, who had been sublime throughout the contest, slotted home confidently to put a fitting gloss on the scoreline.


Manager Ben Harris was forced to make three changes from the side that bravely fought back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at FC Hoskins last week, but his new-found strength in depth meant that he was able to find the adequate replacements.


Max Hallam remained at left-back after he replaced his cousin Jack Rudman after just 15 minutes at Mowmacre Hill and Jack Boulton was hurled into the back-four when centre-half Harvey Morgan was ruled out with a broken arm.


Martin Fennon and captain Mark James both retained their starting place, as did the four-man midfield, but Jack Sutherland replaced last week's two-goal hero Callum Wills alongside Cook, after his call up to Leicestershire & Rutland under-18s.


The home side started brightly at their new home, too, as Cook, Ivens and Pratt all peppered the goal with long-range efforts although none of which troubled the visitors' goalkeeper.


It soon became evident that Horse had set themselves up for a point, with dangerman Mike Tuxford being employed in a much deeper role and United began to stroke the ball around nicely along the deck before the first real chance of the game midway through the first period.


Cook had looked dangerous in the opening exchanges and he was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring when his acrobatic scissor-kick just flashed wide of the far post.


It was a warning that the visitors did not heed either, as once again it was Cook that was the tormentor when he latched on to Pratt's delicious cross to head agonizingly against the crossbar from close range.


At the other end, United stopper Sam Green had been complaining of an ankle injury before kick-off, but he had been kept relatively quiet until he once again earnt his stripes just moments before the interval when the away team finally released the shackles.


Frolesworth's lack of pace in the backline was exposed for the first and only time during the match, but Green stood firm to beat the ball to safety as the game remained deadlocked at the break.


Harris once again chose to twist at the interval and similarly to last week, he plumped for his trump card off the bench in the form of Greg Garner who replaced the lacklustre Sutherland, meaning Stokes moved into attack with Garner now on the left.


But most importantly, his side remained patient once again when chances went begging, although they might have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be one of those days when it was the turn of Ivens this time to rattle the frame of the goal.


The Filipino magician has been the blood coarsing through United's veins so far this season and he was left cursing his luck when his delightful free-kick thumped the foot of the upright and bounced to safety soon after the restart.


But Frolesworth simply could not be repelled for much longer and yet again it was Stokes who provided much-needed inspiration when the clock hit the hour mark.


The makeshift left-sided midfielder enjoyed his short cameo up front, having smashed home from the penalty spot last week, this time he showcased his ability from outside the penalty area when he curled a sumptuous effort into the far corner to give the hosts a precious lead.


The visitors appealed in vain for the goal to be chalked off though, as Jake Pantony had been felled in the build up and stayed down following a twisted ankle.


However, referee Akil Howson awarded the goal and Pantony was replaced immediately by Splevings, who partnered Cook up top meaning Garner moved back into the middle and Stokes returned to the left flank.


It wouldn't prevent him from doubling his side's advantage in the 74th minute though, as once again he proved himself a goal-threat coming inside onto his favoured right-foot when he met Pratt's inch-perfect low cross with a terrific half volley, after fantastic work from Cook had won back possession inside the opposing half.


It was the crucial goal that looked to have killed the visitors off, although they rallied late on and Frolesworth were forced to survive a smattering of pressure.


Green once again made a strong save and also commanded his area with several impressive punches from ariel balls in to the box, before Hallam denied what looked a certain goal with a fine intervention in the six-yard box with Green this time well beaten.


And the third goal of the game was to come at the other end, when with just two minutes to play the Country Boys countered and Cook got the goal that his tireless work ethic deserved.


Ivens slotted an intricate ball through to the front-man, who gleefully fired home his first goal of the season with an emphatic finish to round off a good day at the office for Harris and his charges.


The result means United move into the dizzy heights of third place, albeit after just two games, heading into the Arthur Moore Cup Group C. 


Horse will undoubtedly present another difficult challenge at Knighton Park next week, especially with Harris likely to make a few alterations to his side, although striker Wills should return to the fold.


Harris will just have to ensure that he keeps his team focused on the job in hand, rather than the potentially mouth-watering clash with holders Advance Couriers at Horsewell Lane the following week.





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