Frome Town Women travelled to face a strong Pucklechurch side in their League match today. Off the back of their County Cup success last weekend, Frome Women were looking to take points in what is turning out to be a tight Division in the South Western Regional Women’s League.
Playing on a sloping pitch, with a low sun shining down the hill, Frome Town started brightly as they moved the ball forward with Bristow finding space on the edge of the box to fire home superbly in third minute, to take the lead. Keeping the pressure on, Frome managed to keep dominating the midfield, with Underhill and Bristow working the ball forward towards Thorner-Atkinson and Harris. Harris’ pace was proving tough to handle for the home side and after only six minutes, Harris was brought down from behind when seemingly clean through on goal. After a long pause, the referee pointed to the spot but decided not to show any cards to the Pucklechurch defender. Underhill stepped up to take the spot kick but the home goalkeeper saved well low down to her left and the score remained 1-0. Frome continued to push forward with Harris continuing to find gaps between the central defenders. Petteford and Wyatt looked for chances to find space on the wings, but Frome’s progress came mainly through the middle. The home side meanwhile tried to use the pace and strength of their centre forward and wingers to create openings. Didymus, Edwards and Perkins were stretched hard at the back, with Bristow and Starr supporting from midfield. While Restorick was calmly sweeping up from behind, including bravely taking a knock to the head when collecting a through ball inside her box. The home side’s pressure paid off in the sixteenth minute when Pucklechurch equalised from Penalty spot after nothing more than a slight knock from Starr which the referee awarded with a spot kick, that was duly converted. In a fast moving encounter though, Frome moved through the middle of the pitch again, with Minty and Harris, supported by Thorner-Atkinson, looking to put Frome back in the lead. On the 23rd minute, Underhill did just that with a swerving shot from the edge of the box, that looped over the top of Pucklechurch’s keeper to hit the back of the net. 2-1 to Frome. The half continued to move at pace and Pucklechurch pressed forward in search of another equaliser. As they pulled Frome across to the right, their centre forward received a pass on the penalty spot, looking certain to level the score only for Restorick to close the striker down fast and make an outstanding save to keep the scoreline as it was. At the interval, Frome knew they would have a battle on their hands to keep their lead as they face up the hill and into the sun and wind. The home side came out for the second half fighting and immediately looked to create openings on the right wing by playing the ball in behind Frome’s back line, winning a series of corners on the right which Frome defended bravely. Restorick also made another strong save to keep the score in favour of Frome but on 53 minutes the home side’s pressure told with a strong finish from just inside the box to level the scores at 2 -2. The pressure on Frome mounted and the away side struggled to get the ball out of their own half, with the home side slowly taking control of the game, looking for more openings on the right wing. Restorick was outstanding again denying Pucklechurch at her near post. But the relief for Frome was short-lived as Pucklechurch managed to take the lead with a strong low drive from inside the Frome box. Frome laboured to make progress up the pitch still and the home side seemed able to win the ball back, while Harris, Minty and Thorner-Atkinson, struggled to get much service. The game continued to drop deeper and deeper into Frome’s half and Pucklechurch’s pressure paid off late on when the referee awarded another penalty kick to the home side for what looked like an collision rather than a foul. 4 – 2 to Pucklechurch. The score remained that way at the final whistle. Overall, a very hard day for Frome in which their strength told in the first half and they showed how they can compete with Pucklechurch, who are unbeaten in the League, to take and hold the lead. The second half though, was a different story where a combination of pitch and pace managed to tip things in favour of the home side. Frome remain third in the table though and now look to prepare for a tough home game next week against AEK Boco after three successive games on the road. Frome Women will be hoping for a good crowd and strong support to back them as they make a welcome return to Badger’s Hill next Sunday.