Match day

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Ebbsfleet United (A)
Sat Dec 3

Match day

Team logo
Ebbsfleet United (A)
Sat Dec 3 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Opening day stalemate for Rebels

| League
Att: 275
Slough Town
0 - 0
Frome Town
Jake Parsons
Slough Town and Somerset visitors Frome Town played out a goalless draw on a very warm opening day of the season at Holloways Park.

After a largely successful pre-season campaign, the Rebels lined up with four players making their competitive debuts – goalkeeper Mark Scott, along with Craig Scott, Nathan Webb and Lewis Putman – with another new signing, Callum Webb, taking a place on the substitutes’ bench.

However, the season’s curtain-raiser was disappointing as a spectacle - a scrappy game of few clear chances, with the best by far falling to Slough midfielder Jamie McClurg in the second half.

Early on, Frome enjoyed the better of the action, with Josh Ferguson's fierce strike testing Slough keeper Mark Scott. Scott then had to be alert to keep out a fierce Kris Miller shot with his legs.

Both sides made a frantic start to the game, neither able to put together a decent spell of possession or pressure on a dry, bumpy Holloways Park pitch.

Eddie Smith took a super first touch from a long kick by Mark Scott, but dragged his shot wide of goal.

Smith had another sight of goal later on, but shot straight at Frome keeper Darren Chitty after cutting inside from the left. Lewis Putman was a better option at the back post had Smith seen him.

Later in the half, Chitty made a comfortable low save from Jake Parsons' effort from 25 yards, and Mark Scott tipped a stinging 25-yarder from Joe Tumelty over the bar. From the resulting corner, a Frome shot eventually went well wide after several visiting players looked to have had a chance to get a shot away.

Three minutes into the second half, McClurg missed the first of his two golden chances as he failed to get the right contact to Lewis Putman's cross to turn the ball in from inside the six yard box, with the ball spinning agonisingly away from goal.

On 62 minutes, an even better chance arrived for McClurg, again from a dangerous low whipped cross from Putman, but the midfielder was again unable to turn the ball in to an open goal and it rolled wide.

Between the two chances, defender Craig Scott landed awkwardly and limped off injured, with midfielder Adam Martin dropping into the back four to replace him. After initially fearing Scott had fractured a metatarsal, the early signs are that the former Marlow captain has ligament damage.

Slough looked the more likely to find a goal, and after Putman saw a deflected shot fly up into the arms of Chitty, Smith was put clean through, but the Frome keeper got a vital touch to divert it wide.

Neil Baker and Jon Underwood freshened up the Rebels attack, bringing on the Harris brothers, Scott and Warren in place of Putman and McClurg – but Frome almost snatched a goal as Joe Stradling’s looped cross had to be headed off the line and over the bar by Martin. From the resulting corner, a fierce strike from Taylor was well blocked.

Jake Parsons, who did not finish the match after picking up a knee injury in the final few minutes, saw a fierce volley blocked by Miller with six minutes left, but neither side was able to find a route to goal in the remaining time, and both had to settle for a point.

Frome Town Line up

Darren Chitty, Kris Miller, Lee Sweet, Ollie Taylor, Chris McGrath (c), Jon Vance, Joe Tumelty, Rob Hobbs, Ben Thompson, Lewis Haldane, Josh Ferguson. Subs: Matt Minnis, Callum Thompson, Joe Stradling, Brad Miles, Ben Warlock.

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