Home league match played on 08 April 2011.
Kicked off at 12:00 AM




FROLESWORTH United were denied a fairytale ending in front of a record attendance, as they were well-beaten by an impressive Sparta Moshdock side in their final ever game at Hall Park on Friday evening.


Martin Fennon’s cruel own goal after just two minutes sent the title-chasers on their way, before Aaron Preston doubled Moshdock’s advantage inside 20 minutes and United’s party had well and truly been crashed when captain Mark Baker’s error was punished midway through the second-half.


Frolesworth manager Ben Harris was left to rue his side’s disastrous defending, especially after he decided to stick with the same 10 players that kept a clean sheet against league leaders Perrin Rangers on Sunday, although he did concede that the visitors were, ‘better in every single department.’


Never had there been such an aurora around United’s starting XI, but Harris decided to make just one enforced change, replacing injured assistant manager Jordan Halford with Sam Young in attack as the home side once again set their stall out for a clean sheet.


That meant that stalwart defender Jack Boulton, pacy winger Miles Splevings, full-back Martin Finnigan and industrious midfielders Eddie Glaister and Joe Swanwick were all consigned to the bench, as striker Joe Cook continued to struggle with a knee injury.


But as the beautiful spring sunshine descended on The Warren after The Rabbits’ official team photo, Harris’ master plan also tumbled beyond the horizon with it, as sweeper Fennon was unfortunate to bundle the ball into his own net barely two minutes in.


Left-back Jack Rudman was caught napping as the ball was played in behind him and in a desperate lunge to try and avert the danger; Fennon inadvertently miscued his clearance beyond the on-looking Luke Evans and into the top corner.


It was the worst possible start for Frolesworth and particularly Harris’ ultra-defensive 5-4-1 formation, but he continued to persist with sticking to his guns with so much time still left.


United responded, only fleetingly however, as Jack Sutherland eluded two challenges and whistled his shot narrowly wide of the upright.


Instead, it was Moshdock who would double their advantage in the 19th minute, with the division’s top scorer Aaron Preston helping himself to number 38 of the campaign.


Frolesworth failed to deal with a long ball towards the back-post, and as Mark James could only head the ball back into the danger area, Preston seemingly had all the time in the world to turn and confidently dispatch his side’s second and completely undo the Clarets’ game plan.


Harris though, remained stubborn. Petrified that his side might be dead and buried at the break, he remained cautious, but United would have one great chance to haul themselves back into the game just before the interval.


Striker Young had been isolated thus far, but he would breach Sparta’s centre-half pairing after Baker’s direct header downfield. But after rounding the goalkeeper, Young watched on in despair as his powerful drive struck the upright, completely summing up United’s misfortune in the opening 45 minutes.


Harris waited until his side entered the dressing rooms to put a twist on things, bringing the returning Boulton into a familiar looking back-four in place of Matt Pell and moving Fennon into the midfield to assist Jake Pantony.


Frolesworth improved, but it wasn’t enough and 20 minutes from time any chances of a miraculous comeback were well and truly dashed.


Sparta attacked down the left this time and James failed to prevent the cross from entering the Country Boys’ box, however, it looked as though the danger would be comfortably thwarted but captain Baker mis-timed his clearance and he was duly punished.


3-0 to the visitors, all preventable and all too familiar, but it wasn’t flattering.


Matters would be made worse for Harris soon after too, when Rudman, who had struggled throughout, was forced to be withdrawn after sustaining sprained ankle ligaments meaning he will now miss the rest of the season.


Youngster Splevings entered the fray with 15 minutes to play and looked sprightly, surely throwing his hat into the ring for a starting berth against Horse on Sunday.


But Harris will also be praying that Cook can shake off a knee injury to play at Knighton Park, as The Rabbits have won just one of their last nine outings.




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