Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Frome Town scored two goals to edge a close game at home to newly-promoted Hamworthy United. Second-half goals from George Rigg and Jono Davies proved decisive in a hard-fought win, one characterised by half-chances, and the BA11 side will be pleased to seal all the points against one of the early frontrunners in the division.
It had felt a long two weeks since Luke Hopper’s last-gasp equaliser on the banks of the Avon against Bristol Manor Farm and even longer since the Robins had played a game at Badgers Hill. The aerial sparring of long balls and clearances in the opening minutes demonstrated that this would be a game with very little between the sides. Hamworthy, who went into the tie unbeaten and sitting pretty in third place, are a side who have rarely lost in recent times, conquering all before them Wessex League last season.
The Poole-based outfit promised to be a test and often in the first half, Frome’s defensive trio of Maidment, Baker and Teale had to withstand a barrage of corners and set-pieces, marshalling the box with assurance. Equipped with a near-fit squad, Danny Greaves’ side began to weather the Hammers’ early attacks and grow into the game. Wing-back Ben Withey found joy on the left flank, bending in crosses and sending curling shots just wide. Warren Maidment also had the Hamworthy keeper concerned when he directed a powerful header across the goalface.
The second half started quietly before livewire forward, Davies, found himself through on goal, sandwiched between Hammers’ keeper Murphy and the chasing defender. Getting a shot away, he was clattered outside the area. If Hamworthy were lucky that the card shown to their keeper was merely a yellow, they can consider themselves unfortunate that it was George Rigg standing by to take the set-piece. Whipping the ball over the wall, the midfielder put Frome ahead with little over half an hour to play.
Immediately though, there were fires to put out in the Frome box, Maidment among others flinging himself in front of countless speculative shots by the Hamworthy attack. The referee did not help the game to flow, blowing for numerous challenges as the minutes wore on. New additions to the squad, Conrad Essilfie-Conduah and local favourite, Jack Witcombe, were called upon to see off the increasing threats posed by the Hammers’ forwards.
The defensive shift put in by Frome will reassure the supporters after a number of questionable showings so this season. It was a stern test of focus for the Robins, but, ultimately, it was the calm and collected approach that sealed the victory and provided the opportunity for a second goal. Substitute James Ollis received the ball from a counterattack and found Davies, who took full advantage of the fatigued defence, finishing with ease to give the Robins breathing room and add gloss to the result.
Frome Town will next be in action under the lights on Tuesday night when Wellington visit Badgers Hill in the Somerset Cup. After bowing out in the semi-finals of the county competition last season, Danny Greaves’ squad will be eager to go one better Not only does it offer the chance for silverware but also opportunities for new additions to stake their starting claims as the league season gathers momentum.
Match report and live updates by Zeb Baker-Smith