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REPORT: Frome Town 2-3 Merthyr Town

Photo by David Feast

A late Merthyr penalty consigns The Robins to their first home defeat of December, despite goals from Jordan Rogers and Ryan Bath.

With Frome having score their second successive win on Saturday, and having beaten Merthyr 3-1 in Wales on August Bank Holiday, a win today would have meant a rare three wins on the trot and a double over the visitors on this lunchtime Boxing Day match.

With the pitch bearing up well for late December, the match started slowly with both sides getting used to the conditions, and the first chance arrived for Frome in the 8th minute as Ryan Bath battled well for the ball and as it broke free, Jordan Rogers toe poked a left foot shot just past the far post from just inside the Merthyr box.

After Sam Teale had just flicked a corner wide in the 11th, Merthyr took the lead in the 14th with their first real attempt, and as the ball seemed to be bouncing harmlessly around on the edge of the Frome area, Merthyr’s Tom Meecham found space and as the ball dropped down to him, he hit a first time volley from outside the area that curled away from Carey and buried itself in the top far corner.

Merthyr went very close to doubling their lead in the 24th as centre half Kyle Patten rose above everyone to head a right wing cross just over the Frome bar from ten yards, and at this stage it looked as if the visitors might well go on to win the match by a few goals as they started to dominate possession in the Frome half.

However, Frome equalised slightly against the run of play in the 30th as Kris Miller attacked down the right and as his crossfield ball found Rogers in space just outside the box, the Frome target man controlled and swivelled all in one movement  and then fired home a low right foot shot that flew past Lewis Webb into the far corner.

Frome now moved into a period of dominace, and with Rogers looked dangerous every time he received the ball, and he hammered a shot into the body of Webb in the 34th after Bath had done well to set him free, and in the 39th he cut in from the left and hit a fierce right foot shot that Webb just managed to tip round for a corner.

Having said that, Frome were grateful for the skills of their own keeper right on the stroke of half time as Carey tipped over a fierce volley just after he had punched clear from a corner.

Rex Mannings had a chance early on in the second half as he broke through only to shoot high, but Frome were their own worst enemies a minute later as careless midfield play allowed Merthyr to win the ball and Ryan Prosser burst through unopposed on the right to shoot past Carey into the far corner to make it 2-1 to the visitors and give Frome a tough task to come back in this match.

However, Frome did come back and equalised in the 51st as Miller overlapped on the right and as his cross was deflected vertically upwards, Rogers watched it come down and played the ball to Mannings who somehow controlled the ball and played it to Bath who made no mistake from close in at the far post.

At 2-2, the game was finely balanced, and either side could frankly have won it at this stage, though injury forced Kris Miller off in the 62nd, but with Billy Fletcher moving to the centre, Connor Roberts moved to right back and looked effective coming forward, especially when Tom Mayhew came on in the 71st.

But despite Frome mounting attacks on the right, they never managed to carve out a clear opportunity, and the game looked to be heading for a draw until the 85th when Rex Mannings fouled Ian Traylor as he drove into the boxfrom the right, and the winger picked himself up to score easily from the spot and make it 3-2 to Merthyr.

Frome had a chance to equalise in the 2nd minute of injury time as Bath was fouled in the Merthyr half, but their success rate from dead ball situations is not good this year and the Merthyr defence remained untroubled to the end the three points returned toll free to Wales.

Frome’s man of the match was chosen as Jordan Rogers, and the striker’s work rate and “shoot on sight” attitude is endearing him to the Frome fans. 

FROME TOWN: Carey, K Miller (Fletcher 60'), Teale, Knowles, Mapstone, Roberts, Brace (Morgan-Williams 57'), Monks (Mehew 75'), Rogers, Bath, Mannings.

SUBS NOT USED: K Scott, Plummer.

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