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Frome Town overcame local rivals Melksham Town in a feisty encounter at the Oakfield Stadium.

Zak Drew and Kane Simpson were both on target in the first 15 minutes with their two goals enough to propel the Robins to the top of the Southern League South Division.

With the game being a local derby, it was one neither team wanted to lose, but one both were desperate to win, Melksham fought till the end, but Sam Hendy’s 76th minute strike turned out to be just a consolation.

Danny Greaves named an unchanged side to the team that beat Bideford just two days ago, despite it being such a short-turn around, Greaves wanted to keep consistency with the line-up that has done so well the past few weeks.

Just four minutes in the away side got off to the perfect start when a long throw-in from Warren Maidment found its way to James Ollis, his cross wasn’t properly cleared by the Melksham defender and it fell perfectly to Drew who’s header looped into the top corner, to give Frome the perfect start.

The lead was then doubled just seven minutes later, when Jon Davies played a neat ball through to Kane Simpson, he open his body up Thierry Henry-esque and slotted past Joel Manning Butler.

The home side responded to the early setbacks well, creating a few chances of their own, the first came in the 20th minute, when an Albie Hopkins strike, deflected just wide of Kyle Phillips left hand post.

Four minutes later, Frome had Phillips to thank again as he kept Benjamin Mwaruwari’s header out with a fantastic save with his right foot.

The game settled down after with few chances between the 25th minute and half-time, Joe Budd and Sam Hendy both received yellow cards for late challenges before the interval.

Having played just two days ago, players were tiring and muscles were tightening, Heal was forced off at half-time and replaced by Staley, who had the tough task of dealing with the energetic Albie Hopkins for the remainder of the game.

The second-half did start similar to how the first-half ended, the Wiltshire outfit were playing their football, but struggled to break-down Frome’s backline of Sam Teale, Matt Wood and Maidment, who all once again put in exceptional performances.

Frome did have the first big chance of the half in the 50th minute, when the in-form Simpson riffled a shot from the left hand side of the box just wide of the post.

Phillips managed to keep his clean-sheet intact again, as he somehow clawed out a Melksham header in the 61st minute.

Due to the Town playing on the Friday, the extra days rest was really paying dividends in the last 20 minutes, where they got well on top as Frome tired out.

They managed to pull a goal back in the 76th minute when Hendy finished off Hopkins pull back, setting up a nervy last 15 minutes.

Hearts were in mouths in the 87th minute, after a corner was recycled back to taker Hopkins, he curled an effort towards the far corner but it just clipped the top of the bar and went out for a goal kick.

The Robins managed to weather the rest of the storm and secured a massive derby win, which puts them two points clear of Wimborne at the top of the league - albeit having played a game more.

Frome are back on the road this Saturday, travelling down to Exmouth, for what promises to be another enthralling game.

Match report and live updates by Harrison Richards.


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With the Robins 2-0 up in 15 minutes this looked another Bideford stroll, but how wrong could one be. Melksham recovered and gradually got their way back into the game... and by half time they were approaching parity in terms of possession etc. and missed a glorious chance to pull one back – thwarted by a great close range block from Phillips.

The second half belonged almost entirely to Melksham. The Robins were under a lot of pressure, losing their way and looking a very tired outfit. The game was now about John Wayne -esque ‘True Grit.’The game had turned into a pulsating local derby and in the end we were hanging on for dear life, desperately defending with some…

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