Away league match played on 27 November 2011.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

A THREADBARE Frolesworth United side slumped to their fifth successive defeat on the road after Troy Buccosi's header two minutes from time gave bottom side Thurmaston Progressive WMC a precious win in a seven-goal thriller at Garden Street.


Callum Wills had given the visitors the lead after just six minutes, but Nick Faulkes squared things up just shy of the half-hour. Joe Cook restored United's lead just two minutes later, however, latching on to a poor back-pass before Lee Sharman converted a much-disputed penalty to ensure it remained level at the break.


Faulkes added his second with a header in the 57th minute, but Rabbits striker Wills wasn't to be out-done and he once again found the net moments later to make it 3-3. But with just two minutes remaining, centre-half Buccosi found himself unmarked in the box to head home a corner and break Frolesworth hearts.


United went into the game searching for their first away win since a 4-1 demolition of Horse in the Arthur Moore Cup Group C way back on Sunday, 18th September and after suffering a disappointing exit in the Billy Walton Cup to Division Two promotion-chasers Fosse City, but manager Ben Harris was without several first-team regulars for the long trip to Thurmaston.


Captain Mark James, talismanic midfielder Jake Pantony, Martin Fennon and winger Tom Stokes were all sidelined, whilst Dan Morrow was the latest in the line of pathetic excuses by informing his manager that, 'his Mum didn't wake him up' half way through the first-half, which not only left his team-mates infuriated, but also called into question the youngster's future at the club.


It also left Harris with his hands effectively tied and he was forced to put square pegs in round holes in order to field a side. Goalkeeper Sam Green, who has been out with a broken hand, was forced to start at right-back after Sam Pratt arrived late, whilst Jack Bouton returned alongside Harvey Morgan in the back-four.


Pacy winger Miles Splevings returned on the right at the expense of Morrow, whilst Daniel Herring was named as captain and also thrown into the heart of midfield alongside Jack Sutherland after returning from an eight-month stint in Boston.


But in spite of United's tumultuous trip, they started on the front foot and gained the initiative after just six minutes through Wills. Frolesworth forced a corner on the near side, but it was cleared only as far as Morgan who galloped forward before feeding Harry Simmons, and his first time lay-off found the makeshift left-winger in space to slot home his first goal since his opener against Advance Couriers at the end of September.


They should have doubled their advantage shortly after too, as the excellent Splevings broke from inside his own half before firing straight at the goalkeeper when he should have squared to either Simmons or Wills who were both unmarked for a tap in.


The Country Boys took their foot off the pedal soon after, as the home side began to assert themselves on the game. Goalkeeper Luke Evans was forced into his first save of many, when he fumbled a long-range drive onto the foot of the post, but he was helpless to prevent Progressive levelling in the 27th minute through Faulkes.


The oranges swept forward down the left, before winger Sharman slipped the ball through to Faulkes who confidently slotted beneath the sprawling Evans. The home side's lead only lasted two minutes, however, as Cook was the grateful recipient of a woeful back-pass shortly after to restore the visitors' lead and notch his sixth goal of a fruitful campaign thus far.


Right-winger Sharman though looked the home side's biggest threat and left-back Max Hallam was booked before conceding a contentious penalty just before the break. The Progressive winger appeared to have gone to ground very softly after a clumsy challenge from the United left-back, before getting up and resuming play.


But the referee decided there had been no advantage from the alleged foul, before pointing to the spot to leave the Frolesworth players and in particular Morgan absolutely bewildered, as he lay shocked on the ground. Sharman dusted himself down before confidently dispatching the spot-kick to make it 2-2 at the break.


The visitors once again started brightly after the team-talks, as Herring came close to giving United the lead for the third time in the game with a well-uted lob that was equally as impressively turned over the crossbar by the hosts goalkeeper.


But instead of taking the lead, the Country Boys fell behind for the first time in the game in the 57th minute. Defending at set-pieces has always been considered the achilles heel of Harris' team over the previous two seasons and it swiftly came back to haunt the Yorkshireman as Faulkes nodded home his second of the morning.


But Frolesworth quickly galvanised themselves and responded in the only way they knew how. Sky blue shirts poured forward and just two minutes later, they were back on level terms courtesy of Wills once again, who was slipped through by Simmons and slotted home in almost a carbon copy of the opener.


The game then ebbed and flowed in a similar ilk to a cup tie, as both sides threw caution to the wind in search of a valuable three points. Simmons fired narrowly wide for the Rabbits, whilst at the other end, Evans was once again forced into a breathtaking save to keep the hosts at bay.


But with time running out and both sides looking as though they had settled for a share of the spoils, Buccosi had other ideas and he headed home unmarked to snatch a winner and end a run of four successive defeats for Thurmaston.


The result was certainly harsh on Frolesworth, who worked tirelessly throughout the game to ensure they were good enough for a point. But ultimately, ghosts of Frolesworth past came back to haunt Harris' new charges as they conceded three soft goals, one from the spot and two from corners.


Harris and his players were visually stunned at full-time, although they gained some perspective on the result in the changing rooms after the news was broken of the unfathomable suicide of Wales manager Gary Speed at just 42 years of age.


On the pitch, Harris must find a way to overhaul his side's disastrous away form as United now find themselves just three points off the foot of the table. Although, with the poor attitude of some of his current crop, promotion may well remain an unrealistic target.


Although yesterday's unfortunate events are were a timely reminder that's it's only a game.






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