Frome Town U18 Scorers: Porter, Seviour (2), Brewster
Team: Bond, Brewster, Boulton, Pack, Trainer, Farley, Lunt, Seviour©, Pollock, Porter, Crossman Subs: Locke(GK), Carver, Mori, Rudi, Dugout: Fosu Gharban(M), Curtis Goodwin, Arran Connor
Frome Town U18 recovered from a shambolic opening 20 minutes spell after which they found themselves 4-1 down at home to record a deserved 4-4 draw in this pulsating and near catastrophic game for Frome. Frome were missing the aerially dominant defender Clacee who was also man of the match and the scorer of two goals in the previous game. Frome also rotated their goalkeepers with Bond taking his turn in goal this week with keeper Locke supporting from the bench. Trainer was available due to work holidays and took up his place at left back.
Frome started the game in strangely flat fashion although credit must be given to Wellington and their vocal and passionate management team who inspired their team into a spectacular fast start using superb wide deliveries and movements to attack the deliveries as their key weapon in this opening period. Frome were on the back foot from the off with Wellington creating a couple of half chances straight away. Then early on Wellington took the lead after a delivery into the box was touched past Bond. Things got worse for Frome as a corner, which saw Frome defending with a man-to-man system despite normally using a strict zonal system for defending corners concede from their age old achilles heel of corners/wide delivery into the box.
By now however Frome were playing well in open play in terms of buildup and possession but looked extremely shaky on any delivery into their area with Clacee unavailable. Pollock’s pace was causing Wellington serious issues on the right while Farley, Lunt & Seviour were passing the ball around well after good buildup from the defence. A free kick was won by Frome about 30 yards out and was curled home exquisitely by false 9 Porter for 1-2. However, Frome were still struggling with wide deliveries as the players strangely persisted with a man marking as opposed to zonal marking scheme. This saw Wellington rack up a 4-1 lead off 5 deliveries into the Frome box. The third came from a wide free kick that Frome could not clear properly and the 4th from the second phase of a corner. Therefore, with just 20 minutes gone Frome were 4-1 down and seemingly out of the game.
At this point Frome made a tactical first half change with Pack carrying a slight knock anyway he was taken off with the lightening Carver coming on at fullback allowing ball playing defender Trainer to move to centre back. Frome pepped up slightly with both Trainer & Boulton now bringing the ball out of defence by dribbling and committing opponents with regularity. Frome won a wide free kick themselves as they continued in open play to exert a good level of control and skipper Seviour made it 2-4 at HT with a superb deflected effort.
At half time Frome players went through a quick revision of the zonal marking and its benefits for a team of players who mostly are more technical than physical especially aerially and for a team who have no dominant header without aerial defensive talisman Clacee. Frome dominated the second half completely creating many chances through nice diagonal passes from Farley and driving runs by Crossman & Porter & Pollock and good dribbles by Seviour & Lunt in midfield. Trainer & Boulton continued to bring the ball out of defence confidently while Carver & Brewster overlapped well from fullback. Skipper Seviour now made it 3-4 with the goal of the game a spectacular 35 yard shot that went in off the post and left the Wellington keeper rooted to the spot. Tails now up Frome got on subs Mori & Rudi and the subs helped turn the screw with Mori’s clever dribbles and passes creating move chances for Frome whiles Rudi’s movement and link play in False 9 were exemplary. Frome missed several chance. Pollock 1v1, Seviour hit the post with the goal gaping and Mori seemed to be clipped in the area but no penalty was given. With time running out Mori’s corner delivery bounced off Pollock before Brewster finished to save the game for Frome 4-4.
Frome’s possession play and chance creation was actually very good in this game. The areas to work on for Frome here are how to defend corners using the zonally system in such a way that the players believe in it and apply it automatically rather than needing reminding before each match as had previously been the case. The players reverting to the default of mana marking in the first half due to no reminder to mark zonally as they had been doing all preseason almost cost the side dearly here. But also credit to Wellington who put in possibly the best 20 minutes of goal scoring football in any of Frome’s games so far. Credit to both sides in this match as they put on a very entertaining if nerve-wracking match!