**SPARTA MOSHDOCK 4-2 FROLESWORTH UNITED**
TWO dreadful mistakes from goalkeeper Luke Evans cost his side dearly as a battling Frolesworth side suffered a 4-2 reversal at the hands of table-toppers Sparta Moshdock on Sunday morning.
It had all started so well for the visitors, who twice led through Jake Pantony’s penalty and Chris Bradshaw’s composed finish, but Evans threw Moshdock an undeserved lifeline in 20 crazy second half minutes, which saw four goals fly in.
Manager Ben Harris’ misery was further compounded once the game had concluded, however, when the FA slapped the Rabbits with a four-point deduction meaning they now occupy one of the Division’s relegation spots on -1.
United arrived at Horsewell Lane on the crest of a wave of optimism following three successive wins, albeit two of which being in cup action, but Frolesworth had got their season up and running with a 4-2 home win against fellow strugglers Niffy Rangers over a fortnight ago.
Moshdock, meanwhile, had picked up an impressive maximum of 12 points in Division One thus far, but were held to a 2-2 draw against Niffy in the Arthur Moore Cup last time out.
Harris was once again plagued with casualties heading to Wigston and was forced to replace the unavailable Matt Errington with Evans between the sticks, a decision that he may have later regretted. He also welcomed back Jack Rudman, skipper Craig Rowbottom, wingers Matt Rains and Joe Cook, while Chris Capell was handed his first start.
And United began brightly, forcing a flurry of corners and throw-ins early on before at the opposite end a Moshdock corner was cleared and Capell led the breakaway, culminating in Pantony blazing over from distance.
In the 10th minute was the first sign of Evans’ goalkeeping frailties as he mis-cleared Baker’s back-pass straight to Sparta striker Aaron Preston, but the division’s leading scorer could only place his effort wide from 30-yards.
Preston threatened again 14 minutes later, from a set-piece this time as he climbed highest and out-jumped his opposite number Bradshaw to head straight at Evans.
Frolesworth responded through Pantony again, he escaped the attentions of his marker and picked out Bradshaw, but the target man couldn’t divert his header into the path of the Cook.
But the right-winger, making his first appearance since the opening day defeat against AFC Hurricanes was to be in the thick of the action again nine minutes before the interval as he won his side a penalty.
Capell ceased possession in the opponent’s half with a meaty, lunging challenge and Cook jinked to the byline before being brought down after uting a perfect Cryuff turn. Despite a shortage of volunteers, Pantony stepped up to dispatch his spot-kick with aplomb and give United an arguably deserved lead.
However, Frolesworth’s goal continued to lead a charmed life in stoppage time at the end of the first half as Moshdock struck the woodwork after the shaky Evans thought the ball was drifting harmlessly wide.
The visitors looked sharp again after the restart and were unfortunate not to double their lead, as Capell was inches away from connecting with Mark Baker’s free-kick.
But the game exploded into life seven minutes into the second period, when Frolesworth conceded their first goal in 232 minutes of football in the most bizarre of circumstances.
Rudman inadvertently headed the ball towards his own goal in attempting to clear a cross and Evans leapt across to his right in despair. The giant stopper managed to get his palm to the ball, only for it to drop perilously out of the sky and cannon agonizingly off his studs and roll behind him across the goal-line.
But if the freak goal wasn’t stunning enough, what was imminent surely was. The old cliché warns that you’re at your most vulnerable when you have just scored and that certainly seemed to be the case for the home side as Frolesworth remarkably regained the initiative no sooner than 20 seconds later through Bradshaw.
He latched onto Mark James’ superb through ball immediately from kick-off and was coolness personified as he rounded the keeper to give the Country Boys the lead for the second time in the game.
But the goal frenzy continued just under ten minutes later, when another Evans howler gifted Moshdock another equaliser. Frolesworth had defended with vigor up until now with Rains clearing one off the line with his head, but incredibly the goalkeeper completely missed a harmless cross and it sailed over his head and into the net to the total disbelief of his team-mates.
And the error served to completely undo all of his side’s hard work as Moshdock gained the upper hand just after the hour. There was nothing Evans could do about this one though, as Boulton’s challenge fell kindly to Preston and he lashed home his 14th goal of the season.
Frolesworth’s collapse was complete 20 minutes from time, when Preston helped himself to another as the ball deflected perfectly into his path for him to nod home from close range.
There was still time for Bradshaw to hit the crossbar at the other end, as Harris’ side refused to go down without a fight, but they ultimately let the league leaders off the hook in a game they really should have got at least a point to show for their efforts.
FROLESWORTH: EVANS 3, JAMES 8 (MOM), BAKER 8, BOULTON 8, RUDMAN 8 CAPELL 8, ROWBOTTOM 7, COOK 8, PANTONY 8, RAINS 7, BRADSHAW 8. SUBS: PELL 6 (80)
Official Website - http://www.teamstats.net/frolesworthunitedfc/
Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/FEAR_FUFC
Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=78446830679&ref=ts
For Every Man A Religion.
Probably the most professional amateur football club in the world . . .