Updated: Mar 20, 2022
A late Kane Simpson brace helped Frome to all three points against Mangotsfield on Saturday, ensuring the Robins remained top of the Southern League Division One South table in the process.
Despite being frustrated by a disciplined Mangotsfield outfit for much of the afternoon, an improved second-half performance was duly rewarded when Simpson found the net twice in the final 10 minutes.
A scrappy opening to the game saw the Robins enjoy plenty of possession but struggle to test Marko Radovanovic in the Mangotsfield goal.
Jon Davies was inches away from turning home a James Ollis cross at the end of a rapid Frome counter-attack in the opening exchanges, but the home side defended resolutely in the first 45 minutes.
Mangotsfield came close to taking the lead just before the interval when forward Dean Griffiths strode clear and forced James Carey into a decent save, and only some last-ditch defending prevented Joe Cattermole capitalising on the rebound.
Even though Radovanovic was largely underworked in the first half, a number of dangerous balls played into the Mangotsfield penalty area foreshadowed the Robins cranking up the pressure in the second period.
Danny Greaves’ side noticeably upped the tempo after the break as they looked to fend off pressure from second-in-the-league Cirencester Town, who won convincingly at Larkhall this weekend.
Davies failed to make the most of a mix-up in the Mangotsfield defence just before the hour mark, but chances did soon start to fall regularly in Frome’s favour.
Joe O’Loughlin was denied by Radovanovic before Rex Mannings fired wide of the target not long after, but the game’s defining moments were saved for the Robins’ top-scorer.
Simpson passed up the best opportunity of the afternoon up to that point after being played in by Mannings with just 20 minutes remaining as it began to look like his side would have to settle for a point, but the striker was not done for the afternoon.
In the 81st minute he latched on to a Davies pass and looped an effort beyond Radovanovic and into the net to break the deadlock, sending the travelling Frome supporters wild.
Simpson then turned home a cross from O’Loughlin in the second minute of second half stoppage-time to apply some icing to a cake that was all his own making and secure the result.
The win means that Frome remain two points clear at the top of the league table as the season begins to reach the business end.
The Robins are back in action on Tuesday night as they welcome Bath City to Badgers Hill in the semi-final of the Somerset Cup.