Frome Town Women claimed an emphatic three points in their first home League match today against Weston-Super-Mare Ladies. Following on from last week’s FA Cup heartbreak, where Weston claimed a narrow win over Frome on penalty kicks, Frome Women were looking to level things up today.
Playing in front of another strong crowd, of close to a hundred spectators at Badger’s Hill, Frome started the game with intensity, with Hill on the right wing and Petteford on the left, while Underhill and Bristow combined to thread balls through to Harris and Thorner-Atkinson. The early pressure stretched the Weston defence, requiring their keeper to sweep up any through balls, with Harris and Thorner-Atkinson both running close to creating openings. Hill’s early pace and fire on the right wing caused Weston problems to, forcing the away side to bringing Hill down in the early minutes to prevent her making further progress down the flank.
Weston tried to get a grip on the game by playing balls over the top to their wingers, but Frome absorbed the pressure soundly, with Didymus and Ratcliffe, playing confidently in full back areas. Didymus playing one-two’s with Restorick and Perkins to play out of the corner and ease the pressure. Edwards pace at the back prevented Weston from making any runs through the middle as well.
Frome came close when a beautifully flighted corner from Petteford ln the left was only half cleared, and fell to Perkins, only for the resulting shot to rise over the bar.
Mid way through the first half, Frome were denied what seemed a clear penalty when the Weston keeper piled through Harris to collect a loose ball near the byline, only for the appeals from the crowd and home team to go unanswered. Meanwhile, Weston enjoyed a run of free kicks to break up Frome’s momentum. With just under ten minutes left of the first half, Weston were awarded another free kick on the left wing, around thirty yards out from which they managed to flight the ball over Restorick and into the far corner. The linesman had flagged for offside but the referee gave the goal – a massive boost to the away side who had struggled to create any clear chances.
Frome responded immediately by bringing Regler into the action in midfield, with Hill rested, and Bristow switching out to the right hand wing, but the home side were not able to level the score before the half-time whistle blew.
Following the break, Frome rotated, drawing on their strong squad; Whisstock switched with Ratcliffe at right back and Minty took up the left wing for Petteford. Playing down the beloved Badger’s Hill slop, Frome opened the second half with an even greater intensity than the first, pressing Weston high in their own half and dominating possession in midfield. Underhill and Regler denied Weston any space while Bristow stretched the game on the right, with Minty finding space on the left, and it wasn’t long before Thorner-Atkinson was played through by Underhill and finished confidently, slotting the ball over the oncoming Weston keeper to level the score and raise the crowd.
Frome turned up the pressure and continued to push forward with Bristow shooting from long range with the keeper out of position but able to scramble back and collect the shot. Bristow wasn’t to be denied a second time though, when she found herself in space on the edge of the box to unleash a fierce drive that was too hot to handle, smashing into the back of the net and bringing the crowd to their feet.
But Frome were far from done and sensed the opportunity to further impose themselves on the game. With Weston barely able to get out of their half, the away side suddenly found themselves on the ropes. Minty, Harris and Thorner-Atkinson all forced excellent reaction saves from the Weston keeper, as Frome asked question after question. Underhill joined with Bristow on the right, supported by Whisstock at full back, to create openings on the right wing while Regler and Underhill looked to feed Harris and Thorner-Atkinson down the middle. Frome’s in form striker added a second to her tally as she latched on to another through ball to finish calmly.
With the crowd buzzing and Frome taking full control of the game, it seemed only a matter of time before more Frome goals came and the crowd were not disappointed. With Harris going close again, and forcing another save from Weston’s keeper, it was Thorner-Atkinson got the hattrick with another fine finish from range to ensure that all three points staid with the home team. Even in the dying seconds, Frome nearly added a fifth when a corner was hit towards the line by Perkins. With the home crowd and players appealing for a goal and the Weston keeper laying injured, referee Higgins saw fit to draw the game to close, bringing massively deserved cheers and applause for the home side.
Overall, a fantastic first home league game for Frome Women, sees them now take four points from their first two games. Manager Ben Bolland said: “I’m really proud of the players, they showed what they are capable of today, in front of a fantastic crowd. Its a brilliant start to the season which we can now build on.”
Frome Women now go back to the training ground to prepare for their next League game, at home vs Middlezoy on October the 9th.