Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Frome Town produced a workmanlike performance to clinch a midweek victory away at Cinderford Town. After taking a convincing lead into halftime courtesy of Luke Hopper and Jamie Adams, the Robins could have faltered after conceding an unfortunate own goal. However, yet another James Ollis finish confirmed that the BA11 side would prevail and take home three points.
A tussle away at Cinderford poses a challenge before the match ball is even kicked and not least on a wet Tuesday night. Naming a lineup with a number of changes signified the short turn-around time between games and the hectic programme of fixtures that Danny Greaves’ side has already contended with so far in October. On his return to the starting line-up, Luke Hopper found his way back onto the scoresheet in auspicious fashion. Though the home side threatened early on, the Cinderford defence was slow to retrieve Owen Humphries’ blocked shot in the box. His striker’s predatory instinct plain to see, No.9 Hopper was too quick for the keeper, the attempted clearance rebounding off his foot and into the net.
It was a goal that characterised the effort and maturity put in across the ninety minutes. Countless times in the opening half the Foresters’ panic-stricken back line recoiled from Frome’s press on a greasy surface. The desire to confine the home side within their defensive third paid dividend once more. In almost identical fashion, midfielder Jamie Adams chanced to put his boot in and came away with a goal. Whenever tests were put to him in the opening forty-five minutes, Kyle Phillips came through unscathed with some smart stops, continuing where he left off with his man-of-the-match in Friday’s Wessex derby.
A theme of this season’s late kick-offs has been Frome’s ability to implode after the break and do their best to surrender leads. Jitters were clear in the early minutes of the second half when Warren Maidment’s header at a speculative cross snuck in at the near post and halved the lead. But the cohort of travelling Frome fans’ worries were quickly dispelled as James Ollis extended his purple patch in front of goal. The supporters were rewarded for their journey to Gloucestershire when Mike Baker’s monumental cross, arching in from the left, was met by the in-form forward. Directing a bouncing header past the keeper and into the net, Ollis scored his fifth goal in five games since returning to fitness.
From that point on, Frome knew what was needed and the backline was able to crowd out the Cinderford attack. Though half-chances and set-pieces might have caused unnerving moments, at no point did the Robin’s second win on the trot look in doubt.
Danny Greaves has talked of this Frome side having gears and, though they rarely had to up the ante in the Forest of Dean, an efficient victory in such circumstances will be considered precious by the manager and his staff. Once more, Frome saw out another second half in shrewd manner, a feat that they might not have been able to pull off just a few weeks ago. Though the Robins remain third, after favourable results over the weekend and during midweek, this win sees them tighten the gap to the top to just four points. There is little time for Frome to pay too much close attention to the table as county rivals Paulton welcome the side on Saturday afternoon.
Match report and live updates by Zeb Baker-Smith