An 84th goal from Johnny Gorman finally broke the deadlock in this match and after The Robins' manager Danny Greaves and “stand in” goalkeeper had saved a first half penalty, the 1-0 win over Wimborne was a huge boost in Frome’s bid to stay up this year.
After Frome’s narrow defeat at Salisbury on New Year’s Day, injuries and unavailability again caused team changes and with Tom Mehew and Jordan Rogers injured and Tristan Plummer unavailable, the midfield and attack had to be re-shuffled. Also, with goalkeeper James Carey injured in the Tiverton match, Carl Crabtree unavailable, and Frome’s attempt to sign another keeper thwarted by paperwork issues, manager Danny Greaves was forced to start the match between the sticks.
On a heavy pitch, the match started with a Sam Teale left foot shot that fizzed just past the far post, and with Wimborne’s James Stokoe shooting across the face of goal and stinging the palms of Greaves a little later, Wimborne looked a little more pro-active than Frome in the early stages.
Their endeavours yielded the first big chance of the match in the 11th minute as Marcus Mapstone was adjudged to have brought down Luke Burbridge in the box, and despite the Frome protests that the defender had cleanly won the ball, the penalty was awarded and Greaves saved well to his right from Toby Holmes to his obvious delight.
Neither side really created anything of note in the first half, despite Ryan Bath putting the ball in the net in the 33rd minute from a well offside position, but as the half progressed, strangely, Frome’s best attackers seemed to be their defenders Sam Teal and Connor Roberts who posed a threat every time they came forward, and it was hard to see where a goal would come from in this match, apart from a mistake or a knife edge decision.
The second half emphasised Frome’s fragility in attack, and Wimborne looked more likely to open the scoring, and Greaves did well in the 56th to deny Toby Holmes as he burst through on the left and cut back to unleash a right foot shot that brought a sharp save at the near post.
Frome were almost caught cold in the 52nd as they were hit by a classic counter attack as Wimborne’s Sam Davidson broke through the middle before freeing substitute Curtis Young and his shot looked destined for the inside of the far post before Greaves just managed to push the ball round the post.
The substitutions improved Frome who now started playing with a bit more belief, and after Mapstone had thumped a volley against the Wimborne cross bar in the 69th, Ollie Knowles brought a good save from Gerard Benfield in the 74th, however, it must have been Greaves’s lucky day as in the 76th he came out of his area to win the ball cleanly but then lost possession and only the speed of thought and foot allowed Roberts to get back and head the goal bound Wimborne lob off the line with his head.
Frome’s winning goal proved two football facts, namely that if you get to the dead ball, you have a good chance of scoring and also that it is impossible to be offside when receiving the ball directly from a throw in. Luckily, Johnny Gorman knew both these things and the winning goal arrived in the 84th as Gorman received the ball from a throw in, cut along the dead ball line and hit a fierce left foot shot that took a big deflection off a defender before curling in off the inside of the far post, to the relief of the home crowd and team.
The goal provoked Wimborne into throwing everything at Frome in the remaining nine minutes, and as the tackles started to fly in, the well mannered match turned into a feisty affair with several yellow cards being picked up on both sides, but Frome were not going to let this narrow lead slip and they held on until the end to pick up what effectively amounts to six points given Wimborne’s close proximity to the drop zone.
FROME TOWN: Greaves, Fletcher (R Scott 45'), Roberts, Mapstone, Teale, Knowles, Monks, K Scott, Gorman, Morgan-Williams (Davis 56'), Bath (Mannings 72')
SUBS NOT USED: Evans.
The Robins are back at Badgers Hill on Saturday 19th January as we face Metropolitan Police. Get your tickets at https://www.weareba11.com/tickets.