Frome Town 5 : 4 St Neots Town FC
Frome Town 5 : 4
St Neots Town FC
Wednesday 26 March, 2014 19:45


Calor Southern League Premier Division


FROME TOWN       5        ST NEOTS TOWN       4


St Neots last league defeat prior to this was at Chippenham on 28th January so they are clearly not suited to away midweek league trips to the West Country as they returned home from Frome with a distinct feeling of deja-vu.   However it was a match they should not have lost for they led FOUR times with Frome fighting back to level each time before snatching a penalty goal to take all three points.   The most disappointed man on the coach back home was Shane Tolley whose individual hat trick was his first for the club since 28th January 2012 and it took his current season’s goal tally to fourteen in just eleven starts (although he has featured a further seven times as a second half substitute).   It was the first time that St Neots have conceded five goals in an away Southern League match and it left manager Gary King scratching his head in disbelief as his usually water tight defence conceded a goal almost every time the home team attacked.   ‘We were just not good enough this evening’ he admitted ‘and we must sit down and sort it out’.   However even in defeat there were plus points with Tolley’s hat trick and a very impressive debut appearance at right back for most recent signing Mason Spence a former Welsh U19 international.


The first 20 minutes saw St Neots camping in the Frome half of the field with an almost embarrassingshare of the possession but they were unable to make their superiority count with just off target finishes from Matt Nolan and Lewis Hilliard to show in their favour.   Then after 19 minutes new boy Spence made his mark winning the ball deep in his own half and finding Hilliard free on the right and his low cross was turned into the net at the near post by Shane Tolley.   Ryan Frater had a headed effort deflected just wide from an Arthur Lee free kick and the only threat from the home side came from a series of lengthy throw-ins propelled deep into the penalty area by Ben Wood.   That sent a warning of what was to come but when Frome equalised it came from a different source as a reverse cross from the bye line by Josh Ford found Wood unmarked just outside the penalty area and he swivelled to send a low shot past Nathan Abbey after 37 minutes.  Two minutes later Rhys Baggridge handled a Hilliard cross to concede a penalty which Hilliard confidently converted to reinstate St Neots lead.   The goals kept flowing as after 42 minutes a cross deflected off a defender and Matt Groves made it 2-2 but straight from the restart a Jay Davies shot from another Hilliard cross beat the keeper but rebounded off the inside of a post and Shane Tolley was on hand to end a breathless first half at 3-2 to the visitors.


From took just seven minutes of the second half to level for a third time as a low Wood thrown was headed on for Rhys Baggridge to bundle the ball in from close range but two further minutes on Tolley completed his hat trick with a really controversial goal.    St Neots were awarded a free kick and as Referee Andrew Newell was talking to the culprit and ushering the defensive wall back Hilliard slipped a quick free kick to Tolley who nipped around the back of the defence to net as the home team was still awaiting a restart whistle.   Frome protests were futile but this seemed to spur them on and just three minutes later a Wood free kick was swept in by Jack Vallis as the St Neots defence stood watching.   Both sides may have been happy at 4-4 with a half hour still left but there was still one tragic throw of the dice for St Neots when after 74 minutes A Wood cross struck a St Neots arm and another penalty awarded which Kris Miller thundered past Abbey.   Now both sides seemed to settle and there were fewer chances created but four minutes from time with St Neots chasing an impossible dream of a fifth goal they were reduced to ten men after Arthur Lee gave unwise verbal advice to the Referee and became only the third St Neots player to be sent off this season.


St Neots: Abbey, SpenceLee, FarrellFrater, Hoyte,HilliardDaviesNolan, Tolley, Ferrari

SubsAdjei (for Ferrari 62 mins), Thomas (for Nolan81 mins), Wilson (for Hilliard 89 mins), Woolley and Ford.

Cards: Davies (Y – 54), Lee (RED – 86)

Goals: Tolley 3 (19, 43 and 54 mins), Hilliard (39 mins pen)


FromeChitty, Ford, Cooper, Baggridge, Vallis, Vance, Miller, Smith, Groves, Hulbert, Wood

Subs: Thompson (for Groves 83 mins), Mundy (for Wood (87 mins), Kirby (for Hulbert (87 mins) and Lynn

CardsFord (Y – 37)Baggridge (Y – 54), Thompson (Y – 86)

GoalsWood (36 mins), Groves (42 mins), Baggridge (52 mins), Vallis (57 mins), Miller (74 mins)




RefereeAndrew Newell (Yate)


John Walker