Away cup match played on 30 October 2011.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

FROLESWORTH United failed to prevent a scare on Halloween weekend as they bowed out of the FA Intermediate Cup at the first hurdle with a sub-standard performance at Rushey Fields.


United reached the Quarter-finals of the competition last season, but two second-half goals condemned the Rabbits to their second defeat at Harrison Road inside a month, after they failed to avenge a 6-2 hammering in the league on 9th October.


Jack Sutherland came closest for Frolesworth, as he diverted the opposition goalkeeper's clearance onto the crossbar in the dying seconds in what was another disappointing away day for the Country Boys.


Manager Ben Harris returned to seize control of the side after assistant manager Jordan Halford guided United to a 2-1 over Glen Parva at Dunley Way last time out and he made just one solitary change, replacing Miles Splevings with Dan Morrow on the right-hand side of midfield.


That meant there was no room in an unchanged back-four for the returning Jack Boulton, who had to be content with a place on the bench alongside Splevings.


But in truth, this was a below par Frolesworth performance which rarely saw them test the opposition goalkeeper and they were slightly fortuitous not to be on the receiving end of a heavier scorelone.


Sunbury once again started brightly and they were unfortunate not to break the deadlock inside the opening exchanges after they thumped Sam Green's crossbar from close-range. Green had to be at full alert moments later, too, when he came flying out of his goal to thwart the home side on two seperate occasions.


A largely uneventful first-half came to a close with the visitors the more content of the two sides, but manager Harris warned his side they were in desperate need of a spark in the final third. However, Harris' fears soon became a reality just two minutes after the restart when United fell behind and perhaps deservedly so.


It was another long-ball that centre-halves Steven Bottom and Mark James failed to deal with and once the latter had slipped on a poor surface, goalkeeper Green was left stranded as the ball looped helplessly over him and into the net.


It was a hammer-blow for United, who always looked as though they would be beaten if they conceded the first goal and that certainly proved to be the case as Sunbury continued to go through the gears in the second-half.


Frolesworth were the beneficiaries of a huge slice of luck soon after too, as referee David Speight somehow missed a deliberate handball from skipper James as he frantically attempted to divert the ball clear off the goal-line.


He scooped the ball clear with an out-stretched arm and to the disbelief of the home side managed to escape punishment, as a penalty and red card would have been immediately forthcoming had Mr. Speight spotted alongside the rest of Rushey Fields.


Frolesworth's luck soon eluded them, however, as the game was out of their reach just shy of the hour mark after Green was beaten from long-range and they failed to conjure up any meaningful chances in the remaining half-an-hour.


Harris introduced Splevings at the expense of Morrow in an attempt to inject some pace into the side, as Wills moved up front alongside Simmons with Sutherland returning to the left to provide natural width.


It appeared to reinvigorate the visitors only slightly, as Sutherland's deflected drive whistled narrowly over the crossbar.


Wills cut a forlorn and frustrated figure in attack, as his hard-work and endeavour did almost present Simmons with a chance but the ball was clawed away with just minutes remaining. Sutherland then hit the bar, although accidentally as he closed down the opposition goalkeeper but his effort was harshly adjudged to have hit a hand.


Sunbury had a second penalty appeal waved away in the final minutes, as the ball this time bounced awkwardly off the hand of Sam Pratt and the full-time whistle was soon greeted with despair as the visitors were dumped out after a truly dispirited display.


The result leaves manager Ben Harris with much to ponder, especially after forward Joe Cook decided once again not to be included in the match-day squad. With top of the league Star and Garter visiting Dunley Way next weekend, the league campaign is United's focus after being dumped out of both cup competitions in as many weeks.


Harris will be hoping United can maintain their winning run at their new fortress.




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