Frome Town Women experienced FA Cup heartbreak in their 1st Qualifying Round against Weston-Super-Mare Ladies.
Playing in front of a fantastic record crowd of over 100, Frome Women started the game with strength and energy and pushed forward at every opportunity. Frome looked to push Thorner-Atkinson and Harris forward with Hill and Petteford supporting from the wide areas and their pressure saw Harris have an early run through the Weston back four only to shoot wide, while Thorner-Atkinson collided with Weston’s keeper in chasing a long through-ball. Weston looked to play off their centre forward to penetrate but Frome’s back four of Didymus, Edwards, Perkins and Whisstock held formation well. In goal, Campbell was confident in sweeping up loose balls and collecting the few half chances that Weston could come up with.
Frome’s pressure paid off on 17 minutes when Harris found herself wide right of the goal, after some lovely inter-play with Thorner-Atkinson and Bristow, to smash the ball high into the net and give Frome the lead. It was no more than the home side deserved, as their movement and inter-passing kept the home side on top of the match.
Frome kept pushing forward and continued to create chances with Petteford shooting wide and Thorner-Atkinson warming the keepers hands. Weston seemed to be getting frustrated as the half wore on, struggling to find gaps in wide areas but managed to overstretch the Frome defence momentarily for Weston to scramble the ball over the line from five yards on forty three minutes to equal the scores going into the break.
Frome came out for the second half, looking to find the pressure they had put on Weston in the first half. Hill was dynamic on the left and right wing, making surging runs at the Weston defence. On 57 minutes, it was her run and through ball that let Thorner-Atkinson in to finish confidently and put Frome 2-1 up. With Underhill and Bristow working as Frome’s engine in midfield, the home side continued to press and look for another goal. Weston managed to break forward only for Campbell to save a shot from distance.
Frome’s control of the game was short-lived though when a Weston cross from the left managed to find its way over the line after some lucky rebounds. Meanwhile Frome looked to get back on top with Harris going close as Weston’s keeper saved her close in shot, on the line. Minty came on to the left and brought great energy to Frome’s attack as the home side forced a series of late corners, switching to a back three and bringing Restorick into the attack. But despite the late pressure and a series of blocked shots from Underhill and Hill, the game finished even.
With FA Cup Rules not allowing for extra time, the game went straight to penalties. After a confident start in which Frome converted four of their five, Weston matched them. And so, with sudden death underway it was the away team who came out lottery winners, winning the shootout 6-5. Frome can take massive credit and motivation from their performance and now have a great opportunity to move forward with a League match against the same opposition, at home, next Sunday.