Frome Town Women made it five wins in a row, and four clean sheets from five, after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Stockwood Wanderers Ladies at Badger’s Hill today.
In cold, gloomy conditions that required floodlights from the outset, and in front of another fantastic crowd of 114 at Badger’s Hill, Frome Town brought a solid performance against a physical Stockwood side.
The match got off to a patchy start, with the visitors looking to play fast into the right corner behind Frome, and managing to get a low cross in which was tucked away into the net, but promptly ruled out for offside.
After that close call, Frome didn’t look back, tightening up at the back and looking to play their positive, rapid passing game to build forward. With Minty and Hill showing great energy on the wings, Frome were able to stretch Stockwood’s backline in the opening quarter, with Hill’s pressure on the left leading to a corner kick. Minty swung in the corner which Perkins connected her head to, only for the Stockwood keeper to save. Moments later, Hill attempted an effort from range which the goalkeeper was also equal to.
With Regler and Starr working hard in midfield to break down Stockwood’s aggressive approach play, while Underhill worked across the pitch to feed Thorner-Atkinson and Harris, Frome managed to create pressure in the final third. Pressure that led to a free kick after a foul on Hill. Frome Captain, Underhill, curled the free kick toward the far post, with Starr heading onto Harris but the away keeper again was quick react and nullify the threat.
Moments, later, with Frome on the attack again, Underhill sent Harris through one on one with the keeper who made smart save from a tight angle. Minty, was finding space on the right wing and managed to gain space on the angle of the box to fire a strong in another ball across the goal which Harris connected to, only to see the shot go wide.
As the first-half drew to a close, Frome continued to push forward. Stockwood, looked to play forward rapidly when they could but Edwards, Perkins and Didymus were able to react to the through balls, using Frome keeper Porch, to play back to and soak up the pressure. It was a strong performance to the end of the first half by Porch, who cut out several through balls and crosses to deny Stockwood chances to score.
As the second half began, Frome looked to shift the balance in midfield with Petteford and Wyatt coming on. The change seemed to work in Frome’s favour as Stockwood struggled to get out of their own half. And it was Petteford who made the key intervention with a chipped pass from the right wing that fed Thorner-Atkinson, who from just over 20 yards, fired the ball with a left-footed strike in off the crossbar and into the back of the net to give Frome Town Women the lead.
As the second half played out, Stockwood tried to use their pace on the wings but Frome’s backline and wingbacks seemed equal to the task, with Minty, Petteford, Edwards, Perkins and Didymus working professionally to break down Stockwood’s pace. The only threat the visitors had, came from a long free-kick which was curled to the far post, but Porch was equal to it and battled for the ball to claim it, putting Frome back in control.
In midfield, Starr was imperious breaking down Stockwood’s attacks, while Porch continued to show bravery and confidence in goal to secure another clean sheet for Frome, and be awarded player of the match. Whisstock and Ratcliffe were excellent in defence as well, as they came into the game to bring more energy to Frome’s defence.
Going forward, Frome looked a continued threat, with Wyatt using her strength to cut in behind on the left, while Minty worked with Peet and Thorner-Atkinson to work up the middle and create shooting chances from the edge of the box. Peet showed massive energy to move up the right wing and put a fantastic cross in, but Frome were not able to capitalise on the chance. That move was characteristic of the second-half as Frome continued to press but were not able to add to their lead, while the visitors could find no way through Frome’s defence.
Under the ever darkening afternoon, the game drew to a close with Frome seeing out the game to take the three points and maintain lead at the top of the table, going into the final round of games next weekend when Frome will face Pucklechurch Ladies, at Badger’s Hill on Sunday before heading into the Christmas break.