Frome Town Women’s Team continued their positive pre-season with a strong display at Badger’s Hill against Pen Mill Ladies. From the kick-off, Frome set to impose themselves on the game by controlling from midfield. Bristow and Underhill looked to play through to Petteford and Minty in the wide areas, with Hill and Harris causing Pen Mill all sorts of issues with their pace and movement. A succession of chances came Frome’s way with Harris, Minty and Petteford all going close. At the other end, Frome’s back five of Restorick, Perkins, Edwards, Didymus and Ratcliffe dealt soundly with the visitors through balls, soaking up the pressure to keep the score line even.
After the drinks break, Frome rotated their squad, giving a debut to Whisstock, just signed from Frome Town United Under 16s, to put in a capable and confident display at right-back. Atkinson switched with Hill up front and Regler came on in the centre of midfield to impose herself with a strong performance. In the 33rd minute, Frome finally got the breakthrough they deserved when a Bristow cross was cleared to the edge of the box by Pen Mill, only for Underhill to meet the loose ball and bend a powerful shot into the right hand side of the goal.
Five minutes before the end of the half, Frome welcomed Starr back onto the pitch after a long recovery from injury last season to work with Regler to continue Frome’s dominance of the midfield, winning the ball decisively in the air and on the ground to keep the pressure on Pen Mill. Frome capitalised on this by adding a deserved second when Atkinson’s pressure against the Pen Mill goalkeeper saw her able to pick up a loose ball in the Pen Mill box and slot home confidently into the open net.
After the break, Frome continued to use the depth of their squad, giving another debut to new signing, Campbell, while Harris rested and Hill came back into attack. Frome picked up from where they left off and took the game to the visitors. Showing some flowing passing football, that had the crowd roaring the home team on. Still playing with energy and intensity, Frome were able to breakthrough the Pen Mill backline with Hill and Atkinson both forcing good saves from the visitor’s goalkeeper. Minutes later, following another Frome attack, Atkinson beautifully chipped over the stranded Pen Mill goalkeeper from the edge of the box, to put Frome 3-0 up.
Frome continued to look solid at the back as they rested Edwards and Perkins, with Didymus and Ratcliffe taking up the central defence, Whisstock and Campbell at full back. Even after switching the positions, Frome looked comfortable with Restorick rarely troubled. At the other end, Atkinson found herself clear in the Pen Mill area again, facing the goalkeeper, only to square the ball for Hill to slot home from six yards. 4-0 Frome.
Frome were denied a fifth when Hill turned the ball in from a corner, the referee judging that she used her hand. But the next goal was not far away. Harris returned to the pitch for the last few minutes to slot home into the bottom corner, rounding off a fantastically positive afternoon for the team. The Management Team awarded Player of the Match to Laura Didymus for her hugely capable performance throughout, at full back and centre back, working tirelessly to delay, block and breakdown Pen Mill when they came forward.
Team Manager, Ben Bolland, added that the game “Showed that the hard work and energy the players are putting in on the training pitch, is really starting to come through. Massive thanks to every single player for their efforts, and to Tom Bond (Coach) and Tim Vine (Chairman) for all their support, and especially to all those who came out and watched the team today. There’s a fantastic buzz around the team right now, we’re looking forward to the Sherborne game at home next Sunday, and the season ahead.”
The team go again at Badger’s Hill, next Sunday, 28th against Sherborne Ladies, 2pm kick-off.