TEAM: Shane Rendall, Luke Hayne, Joe Reynolds, Pack, Wright, Hardwick, Gould, Porter, Pollock, Rudi, Brad Mullane Subs: Jeff Glasson, Fosu Gharban, Elkan Finn Dugout: Fosu Gharban(M)
An understrength Frome Town U18 were well beaten in the end by a wily Dilton Marsh side. Frome were missing their three captains Seviour, Lunt & Brewster with Seviour and Lunt required to play for Frome Town Sports in a league match. In addition to this Frome were also without host of other unavailable players with as many as 15 players unavailable including both keepers, defenders Rose, Ollie, Wheeler, Carver amongst others. Consequently Frome got in help from some former (now overage) U18 players in Joe Reynolds, Elkan Finn and Bradley Mullane, while adults Shane Rendall, Luke Hayne & Jeff Glasson were also drafted in to help with numbers. Deep midfielder Gould got his first preseason minutes in this match.
Frome played their usual game for the first 20 minutes or so building through each third of the pitch. Hardwick and Pack were particularly prominent in this as well as stand in keeper Shane Rendall as they consistently found passes to allow Hardwick to get turned on the ball in the centre of the park to move from the build up & consolidation phases through to the incision phase. However, the final ball or shot while not bad were generally not quite enough to get Frome a goal with Pollock very prominent running in behind on the right side and producing a number of crosses and shots. Bradley Mullane on the left side cut inside to good effect from the left to produce a couple of good shots as well. At the back Joe Reynolds was imperious in the air with Pack sweeping up.
However, Dilton were very strong on set pieces both in terms of delivery and aerial strength. Dilton got several corners, one even hitting the post but with Reynolds at the back Frome resisted until an unfortunate mixup on a flicked cross led to Reynolds heading into his own net to give Dilton the lead. The pattern of the game continued with Dilton playing fast effective football and Frome trying to always build through the thirds. Dilton however got the second goal before half time through another aerial situation. Frome had a goal disallowed through Pollock while Porter couldn’t quite convert after going through.
The second half didn’t see much change to the pattern of the game with Dilton powerful while playing some good forward thinking football. Frome got all their subs on and made several chances but a variety of shots from Hardwick (now in attack), Porter, overlapping fullback Jeff Glasson and Pollock did not find the net. Elkan was very impressive on the ball in the false 9 position while Rudi, Gould and manager Gharban worked hard in midfield.
Dilton finished the game off in the last 15 minutes or more by scoring two more goals. The final goal as ever came from a header from a corner with two key headers of Frome in Reynolds and Pollock now off the pitch Frome again had the problem of no one really attacking the delivery although for most of the match the defending of the corners was slightly improved with Reynolds and Pollock available to head clear.
Frome gave their all but were beaten by the better more seasoned team in the end. However playing against an experienced Dilton team with some very good quality individuals will stand the Frome U18 players in good stead during the transition to the adult game. From a technical viewpoint the only real issue raised by the this match would be the need for Frome players to be aware of the potential to switch play or play longer diagonal passes during buildup & to remember that the aim of playing out of the back is to create gaps in front of or behind the opposition defence. These gaps can at times be exploited by early longer passes when appropriate.