Frome Town and Exmouth Town were regular adversaries in the Western League, going back to the mid-70s but Saturday’s eagerly anticipated encounter will be the first meeting between the two for seventeen years. Let's relive some of the highs and lows of past clashes….
May 1976 FROME 9 EXMOUTH 1
The final fixture of an exceptionally long season took place on 29th May, and it was a memorable match for future Frome manager Steve Ford who scored four in this end of term rout. Steve Gay weighed in with a double while Alan Ford, Rodney Allen and Alan Powell also got in on the act.
Oct 1985 EXMOUTH 1 FROME 1
One of the most one-sided games I have ever seen yet all Exmouth had to show for their total dominance going into the final minute was a slender 1-0 lead. Their wastefulness in front of goal was cruelly exposed when Paul Elson clearly crossed from behind the byline for Grant Evason to turn in, but a goal was given. Seething supporters harangued the officials all the way to their changing room but come early May, it mattered not as the Devon side won the league by a single point.
Sep 1987 FROME 1 EXMOUTH 4
Another one-sided encounter but this one spawned the iconic headline ‘Bored Goalie Offered Chair’.
Exmouth custodian Gary Phillips had absolutely nothing to do as he watched his teammates run-up a commanding four goal lead. In protest at his side’s abject showing, a disgruntled Frome follower fetched a chair from the clubhouse and offered it to the underemployed keeper who was eventually troubled by Stuart Woodman’s late consolation.
Aug 1993 FROME 2 EXMOUTH 1
On a baking August afternoon, after a lively first ten minutes in which both sides scored, this opening day encounter was heading for stalemate. Manager Phil Morris introduced his secret weapon from the bench midway through the second half, former Swindon, Swansea and Brighton striker Bryan Wade who became an instant fan favourite by scoring the winner with his very first touch.
Aug 2005 FROME 1 EXMOUTH 0
A bittersweet kind of game for Matt Peters whose 68th minute diving header proved to be the winner, except it wasn’t. Their third straight win made The Robins early league leaders but half way through the campaign, mounting money problems forced Exmouth to withdrawal from the league and their playing record was expunged.
After all these years, it’s great to have them back, a rivalry missed by many.
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