Steve Jupp, BA11's Club Historian, looks ahead to a tasty tie against National League South opposition this weekend.
Badgers Hill stages its biggest game of the season on Saturday with the hotly-anticipated
visit of National League South Worthing in the Second Round of the FA Trophy. The Robins have battled through four ties already to get to this stage of Non-League’s most
prestigious knockout cup, racking-up a dozen goals along the way:
1st Qualifying Round Cirencester (home) Won 3-1
2nd Qualifying Round Bemerton Heath Harlequins (away) Won 3-0
3rd Qualifying Round Bishops Cleeve (away) Won 5-1
First Round Cribbs (home) Won 1-0
Their impressive home record (eight straight wins and unbeaten in fourteen) will get a
thorough examination by the West Sussex side who ply their trade two steps further up the
pyramid, but Frome have ousted higher league opponents from the Trophy before.
There were magnificent victories in the mid-80s over Salisbury (7-1) and Windsor & Eton
(2-0) while more recently Farnborough were sent packing and just a couple of years ago,
Poole were beaten in a 3-2 thriller here at The Hill.
Worthing, due to their Step Two status, are exempt until this stage of the competition and are on
the cusp of a play-off spot, occupying ninth place in the table following Tuesday's lively 4-3
home defeat to Dartford.
Since the 70s, they’ve spent the best part of five decades rising and falling through the
various levels of the Isthmian League and led the Premier Division in both seasons when
Covid brought the nation to a halt.
Undeterred, the Rebels, as they are known, romped to the title in 2022, earning a place in
National League South for the first time in their history and their upward trajectory
continued with a fourth-place finish last term and eventual play-off defeat to Oxford City.
Their crowds average around the 1,300 mark and in recent weeks they have beaten Bath
City twice, given runaway leaders Yeovil a stern test and reached the First Round Proper of
the FA Cup.
The task facing Frome is a challenging one, but supporters can draw inspiration from their
team’s mightily impressive home record against National League sides in both FA Cup and
Trophy. In NINE previous encounters at Badgers Hill, only ONE has been lost.
Who can forget that fabulous giant-killing feat two years ago when first half strikes from
James Ollis and Joe O’Loughlin toppled Oxford City?
All the ingredients are there for a classic cup tie, one further spiced up by the handy prize of £3,750
up for grabs. Can the Robins make it into Monday’s draw which will include the likes of
Chesterfield, Aldershot and Southend? Will the Rebels be brought to heel, and could the
drama of a penalty shoot-out decide?
Don't forget to book your tickets for the big game in advance!