Home cup match played on 04 March 2012.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

FROLESWORTH United suffered their first home defeat of the season following a 3-1 reversal at the hands of Division One rivals Throops in the final Arthur Moore Cup Group C clash, as the visitors reached the last eight at the Rabbits' expense.


A brace from Callum Earls after former Frolesworth man Adam Tester's opener had put the game beyond United's reach, although Joe Cook's spot-kick just after the hour mark gave the hosts a glimmer of hope before Martin Fennon agonisingly struck the post.


But ultimately, it proved to be a frustrating rain-soaked morning for manager Ben Harris as his side squandered a host of chances to bow out of their third cup competition this season, having lost two out of their four group fixtures.


The Rabbits went into the game off the back of an impressive 6-1 demolition of basement boys Glen Parva last week to extend their unbeaten run to five games, and they had set up a ‘winner takes all’ clash with Throops courtesy of Harry Simmons’ last-gasp leveller at the hands of last season’s finalists GT.


United were without the services of Nathan Bedford, Sam Young and Greg Garner, but in-form striker Simmons was once again the spearhead of United’s frontline as Harris opted to employ a three-pronged attack in his quest to reach the quarter-finals with joint top-scorer Cook returning on the right and Jack Sutherland, who bagged a brace last week, on the left.


Sam Pratt retained his place alongside captain Mark James and Harvey Morgan at the back, while Jack Boulton returned as a makeshift left-back to complete a familiar looking back-four and a strong midfield comprised of playmaker Dominic Ivens, talisman Jake Pantony and the industrious Fennon, meaning new signing Ben Hallam had to settle for a place on the bench.


But after a bright start, the visitors got their noses in front against the run of play courtesy of former Rabbit Tester. He endured a difficult time under Harris at the Warren, but he certainly came back to haunt the Yorkshireman, pouncing on a rebound after Green had turned Earls’ shot away inside the opening 10 minutes.


It was a cruel blow for Frolesworth, who were visibly shell-shocked by the opener. But they were facing an increasingly uphill battle when Earls doubled the visitors’ advantage just quarter of an hour later, heading home a sublime cross from the far side after Ivens had misplaced under no pressure.


The Rabbits had the lion’s share of possession in the opening exchanges, but they had failed to convert that into chances and had been hit by two sucker punches on the counter-attack, until Sutherland responded by firing in a decent low effort before the break.


Harris persisted with the 4-3-3 formation at half-time, and he even insisted his players change from their soaking wet home strip into the clean and dry sky blue change strip, but it had no luck as shortly after the restart, it looked as though United were dead and buried when Earls demonstrated his ability by slamming home a flattering third.


His corner was only partially cleared and when it eventually found its way back to him, the ex-Rushden & Diamonds man dispatched a bouncing ball with a thunderous half-volley, which flew into the far corner to completely deflate Frolesworth’s already dwindling hopes.


United did respond, although it was proving to be one of those days in front of goal for Cook, who fired straight at the keeper after Pantony’s delightful weighted pass. Another chance would go begging soon after, when second-half substitute Miles Splevings found himself in space but his effort was beaten away at the near post.


Frolesworth would get a lifeline with 24 minutes remaining though, when Cook was hauled down after bursting clean through and he dusted himself down to convert from 12-yards. Harris, however, was left aggrieved as he felt the visitors should have been reduced to 10-men for a professional foul, though the red card wasn’t forthcoming from referee Keith Smith.


United had their tails up now and sensed they could once again spark another miraculous fight back and they were desperately unlucky not to reduce the arrears when Cook slipped through Fennon, but his curling effort bounced back off the upright.


Still Frolesworth kept plugging away in the swashbuckling rain and they were thwarted once again when Sutherland’s goal-bound effort was beaten away when it was heading for the top corner, before Splevings spurned a great opportunity when he completely sliced from Ivens’ cutback.


But ultimately, all of Frolesworth’s hard work and endeavour rendered fruitless as they left themselves with too much of a mountain to climb and they succumbed to their first defeat at Dunley Way this season.


However, Harris will undoubtedly draw comfort from the fact that his side will have to face Throops twice, along with title-chasing Star & Garter, in their promotion run-in with joint top-scorer Callum Wills soon to return and on this evidence, they are more than capable of mounting a serious assault on the top three.


With just eight league games remaining, United will be targeting approximately 18 points to almost guarantee them promotion to the top-flight. They just need to ensure they are more clinical in front of goal as we reach the business end of the season.


We still believe.






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We’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good. 



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