Frome Town finally overcame their first round opponents in a major cup competition for what seems like the first time in ages with a 2-1 victory over fellow Southern League division 1 opponents Bideford at Badger’s Hill.
Frome Town: Brown, Hobbs, O'Loughlin, Teale, Maidment, Mannings, Peck, Monks, Simpson, Smith, Lenihan
Subs: Gorman, Hallett, Mapstone, Cottle, Cooper
Goals: Smith, Hobbs
Mom: Rob Brown
Danny Greaves made 2 changes with Jon Davies unavailable and Alex Monks unfortunately getting injured in the warm up.
Martin Lenihan and Rob Hobbs came into the starting 11. Frome started brightly in the early exchanges, creating several chances . However they were unable to trouble the visiting goalkeeper. On 14 mins, against the run of play, it was the visitors who took the lead. Max Smallcombe found plenty of time to turn on the edge of the area and finish superbly into the top corner.
The goals knocked Frome out of their stride and the performance went flat. It was Bideford that started to create the chances and they satrted to come regularly. A glancing a header went just wide, before Rob Brown in the Frome goal was called on to make a spectacular save from very close range on the half hour mark. The visitors then missed an open goal after Frome gave the ball away on the edge of the area. Bideford couldn't convert the pressure into a second goal, and Frome had to be grateful to come in at half time only 1 down.
Strong words could be heard from Danny Greaves at half time at half time, as Frome needed a reaction to prevent an early exit from the Trophy.
Bideford still came out the brighter and dominated the opening exchanges with Brown again proving Frome’s saviour after a header back to him fell short. Frome were still living on the edge.
Then on 61 minutes, the equaliser came for Frome. Lenihan found space to whip in a cross from the right which was palmed away and fell nicely to Matt Smith. Smith just inside the area and he made no mistake.
As the goal changed the flow in the first half, the same happened in the second, It was now Frome's chance to pile on the pressure as both sides were determined to find a winner on the day and avoid a replay on Tuesday in Devon.
Frome's pressure and the noise from the crowd, led to a string of successive corners. The crowd thought Peck had found the second, only to realise the ball went just the wrong side of the post to settle in the side netting. Then with only a 10 minutes left a glorious chance fell to Rob Hobbs, as he found himself unmarked on the edge of the area but his effort went over the cross bar smashing into the clubhouse. Would Hobbs be ruing this missed opportunity?
Just 5 minutes later Hobbs made amends on 86 minutes, when Martin Lenihan cut in from the right, after leaving 5 players in their wake, delivered the pass to Hobbs who made no mistake this time. The crowd went crazy and Frome were through to the next round. Chances still came for Frome in the last few minutesto get a third.
A deserved victory for the second half performance and we look forward to the draw on Monday.
Danny Greaves commented
"To win 2 cup games in a week is a massive relief after the club's recent history that's for sure.
Today's first half was very poor, but the second half was much more like it.The supporters were superb second half, and gave me exactly what I'd been asking for in my programme notes.
They stayed behind the team and helped turn a 1-1 into a great 2-1 by driving us on and creating some noise.Credit it to the players again who adapted to the change of shape and took onboard some feedback at half time, and showed a great reaction in the second half.
It once again shows the strength we have in the group to grind out that win with two of our influential attacking players, Jon Davies unavailable and Dan Cottle rested due to a slight knee injury.
We look forward to Monday's draw, and then training midweek as we prepare to get back down to league football next week Saturday away at Larkhall, followed by Tuesday away at Cirencester. We hope to see as many fans their as possible to keep driving us on."