Updated: Aug 29
Frome Town saw off Larkhall with a collected display at home and recorded consecutive victories in the league. Their two goals came within the first seven minutes, the potent combination of strikers Kane Simpson and James Ollis giving the Robins the lead before the visitors had a chance to settle. Though there were to be no more goals, the level-headedness in defence that characterised their previous win at Yate was on show once again as the home side notched up another clean sheet.
A short turnaround of two days meant three changes to the side to the team that put in an assured performance to win at Lodge Road. Kane Simpson, so impressive in his first game back, retained his place up front to make another home debut in the pinstriped red of Frome. James Ollis returned to the starting line-up alongside his old companion-in-attack, Warren Maidment came in after suspension in place of Matt Wood and Ross Staley started ahead of Zak Drew.
The crowd of 486 had barely had a swig of tea before Simpson decided to mark a century of appearances for Frome with a goal within three minutes, his fortieth for the club. Teale heaved it forward for the imposing striker to finish. Not to be outdone, a second followed minutes afterwards from another prong of the attacking trident. James Ollis headed in after Ross Staley ran the ball out from a corner, exchanged with Davies and delivered a perfect cross to the striker.
This incredible start was only blighted by the sight of former Lark Owen Humphries’ early departure. Zak Drew, his replacement, nearly made an instant impact, his shot meandering into the path of Davies who was unable to hook it in. Frome’s ascendancy was checked as the Bath-based side’s defensive line rallied. Their forceful approach was obvious when Alex Monks took a boot to the face and was cut, an incident that resulted in the midfielder going full ‘Butcher’.The rest of the half saw Frome at ease in possession with the odd half-chance like Warren Maidment’s flick from a corner evading Larkhall’s goal.
Prior to this afternoon, Frome had played three in the league, winning, drawing and losing one apiece, a record that was identical to their opponents coming into the game. A win in the cup against Falmouth and their first league victory against Yate had brought belief after a sluggish start. But the reality was that Larkhall had time and time again proved themselves to be a nuggety outfit and had turned around a two-goal deficit on their last visit to Badgers Hill in January. A Frome fan could be forgiven for considering the half-time scoreline a dangerous one.
The Robins continued to flex their attacking muscle. A well-timed slide tackle from Pierce Mitchell freed up Drew early on whose tap inside to Ollis created a brilliant opportunity for last season’s top-scorer. However, a flying save from Larkhall keeper Arthur Nasta ensured the lead remained a two goals. Meanwhile, Larkhall took the cliché of a physical derby too literally, receiving a number of bookings in addition to the first-half hostilities. The visitors tried in vain to get back into the contest at the cost of their discipline, but replacement Dawid Regula’s cameo was marked by a few chances, the forward striking the post after Spencer Dymond-Hall’s effort produced a fine diving stop from stand-in keeper Max Evans. But there was never any real alarm and Frome’s attack through Simpson and Davies did their best to find an elusive third in response.
For a second time in three days, Frome’s work was done in the first half as Larkhall struggled to cause meaningful issues for a sustained period of time in the second forty-five. If there was the slightest tinge of disappointment to what has ended up to be a perfect weekend for Danny Greaves and his squad, it would be Monks’ injury concern and the lack of further goals scored by the Robins in their first win over Larkhall at home since 2012. Having captured this valuable early-season impetus, the side will look to two winnable home ties in the cup competitions against Clevedon and Cirencester as opportunities to prolong the victorious feeling.
Man of the Match: Kane Simpson
Match report and live updates provided courtesy of Ryan Atkins and Zeb Baker-Smith
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