Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Frome secured a third win of the season against local rivals Paulton Rovers at Badgers Hill on Saturday afternoon.
A first-half goal from Kane Simpson was added to in the second half by substitute James Ollis before Leighton Thomas pulled a goal back from the penalty spot for Paulton.
The win means that Frome still have a mathematical chance of winning the Southern League Division One South title on the final day of the season, although it will take a considerable swing in terms of goal difference to overtake Plymouth Parkway.
A blistering start from the home side saw them pass up a number of opportunities to take an early lead.
A looping third-minute header from captain Sam Teale was well held by Paulton goalkeeper Aaron Sainsbury as the Robins looked to keep the pressure on league leaders Parkway.
Sainsbury was called into action again minutes later, holding on to a shot from Simpson after the striker had turned his man on the edge of the box.
Simpson failed to connect with the ball after being set up by Jon Davies in the 15th minute, and Paulton’s lucky escape allowed them to grow into the game.
James Carey had to be alert to palm away a snapshot from Ed Butcher midway through the half, and Paulton started to look more comfortable in possession after a nervy start
However, the better chances continued to fall to the Robins as Jack Witcombe somehow failed to find the target after being picked out by a delightful Mike Baker cross and Davies could only shoot straight at Sainsbury after racing in behind the visiting defence.
The game swung decisively in Frome’s favour just before the interval. A Carey save at one end kept out Liban Ibrahim, and within a minute Joe O’Loughlin had released Simpson before the forward rounded Sainsbury and slotted home.
The Paulton defence were convinced Simpson was offside but the referee and his assistant thought otherwise.
The away side came out fighting in the second half, and a decent spell of pressure saw them create a number of chances to draw level.
The best of them fell to top-scorer Leighton Thomas as he somehow steered a header wide of the target from close range in the 50th minute, but Carey also had to be on hand to keep out Butcher once again as well as a far-post header from Will Harvey.
Frome did reassert some control midway through the half though, and Sainsbury had to make his best save of the afternoon in the 63rd minute after Baker had made a great connection with a Davies free-kick.
Substitute James Ollis was heavily involved as the Robins attempted to extend their lead. He first went on two mazy dribbles before firing wide of the target on both occasions, and 15 minutes from time he set up Simpson, only for the striker to be denied by another impressive stop from Sainsbury.
Ollis did eventually bother the scoresheet though as he reacted fastest in the aftermath of fellow substitute Matt Smith hitting the crossbar, racing through on goal and calmly placing a shot into the net.
Paulton pulled a goal back through Thomas in the closing stages, as he cleverly sent Carey the wrong way from the penalty spot after Baker was adjudged to have committed a foul.
Despite the visitors throwing bodies forward in search of an equaliser, the Robins held on to the three points to ensure the title race continues until the final day of the season.
Frome are three points behind Plymouth Parkway and have an inferior goal difference, but they make the trip to Lymington Town next Saturday with a mathematical chance of finishing the day top of the table.