We head back to 2009 for our first ever meeting with Bishops Cleeve, where Luke Ballinger and Ricky Hulbert took centre stage. Thank you to Colin Carpenter for the match report... enjoy!
An excellent first half saw Frome Town extend their unbeaten league run to eight games with a 2-1 victory over Bishops Cleeve, but the game was marred by a nasty hip injury to Bishops Cleeve striker Kevin Slack just before half time.
With Matt Minnis unavailable due to illness, Darren Perrin started with Mark Salter in his normal No.9 shirt, was able to include Dafyyd Jones as goalkeeper for the first time for several matches, and started Joe Gomes in place of Iain Carr. The rest of the side was as did so well against Weston super Mare the previous week, and they certainly started the match showing the same form that had produced the excellent result a week ago.
Frome kicked off playing against the blustery wind, and their forward’s pace showed itself in the 3rd minute as Frome as Hulbert broke clear on the right wing, only for his low cross to evade everyone. Thomson repeated the feat on the left wing a minute later, and again the ball fizzed harmlessly through the Bishop’s Cleeve box. Gomes tested King with a 25 yard shot in the 7th minute, but the breakthrough cam one minute later as Hulbert charged down a clearance and then produced a perfect through ball for Ballinger to run onto. The speedy midfielder made ten more yards towards goal and then shot high into the roof of the net just as he entered the penalty area ... a very classy finish.
Frome’s pressure just kept coming and some exhibition football in the 12th minute roused the crowd and led to a right wing corner that gave Salter a header towards goal. One minute later and Salter outpaced everyone to get to the loose ball before the visiting keeper, but as he turned and attempted the lob, he just failed to get enough height on the ball and King was able to retain possession.
Bishop Cleeves’ first chance came in the 22nd minute as a 20 yard shot was blazed over the bar, but Frome were still looking by far the more dangerous. The 26th minute saw a Lapham through ball find Salter, but his 20 yard shot found the midriff of King, and two minutes later, Hulbert made ground on the right wing to blast a shot just past the far post. In the home goal, Jones had to be alert to deal with a speculative 30 yard shot that swung in the gusty wind, and King brought off a very good low save in the 35th minute to deny Hulbert by pushing his low shot just round the far post.
Frome still looked dangerous with every attack, and they increased their lead in the 36th minute as Hulbert again did very well to turn, make space and slot the perfect through ball into the path of Ballinger, who again advanced 10 yards on goal, but this time produced a low shot that perfectly found the space just inside the far post for another very classy example of finishing.
This season has often shown that Frome are vulnerable just after scoring, and Bishops Cleeve proved that once again as they scored within one minute of Frome going 2-0 up. This time a quickly taken left wing free kick found the head of Vercesi and a very well directed header flew into the top corner of the goal giving Jones very little chance.
Straight from the restart, Bishops Cleeve looked like equalising, and only a very brave save from Jones prevented the goal, but as he produced the save, he accidentally collided with Bishops Cleeve centre forward Kevin Slack and both players fell to the ground requiring treatment. After several minutes it became obvious that something was seriously wrong with Slack, an ambulance was called, and after a 30 minute stoppage, he was taken to hospital with a suspected serious hip injury.
The match restarted for the 7 minutes that remained of the second half, but the score remained the same, with Frome well worth their 2-1 lead at half time.
As the second half started, the wind had dropped in intensity, and the game seemed to follow suit a little. Bishops Cleeve definitely came more and more into the match and seemed to probably have the edge in terms of both territory and possession, but Frome always looked dangerous on the break with the speed of their forwards coming into play.
Jones did well to deal with a long range shot in the 53rd minute, Cheeseman went close with a header from a Thomson free kick in the 55th minute and Jones again had to bravely save at the feet of Pearce in the 66th minute. A good move involving Thomson and Salter led to a Fullam shot that screamed across the face of the goal in the 75th minute and Lapham and Ballinger were combining well on the right wing.
However, Bishops Cleeve always looked to have a chance of saving the game and once again the defence played well as a unit to deal with everything that was thrown at them. The final whistle came after three minutes of extra time, and Frome were happy to take the three points that moves them up to 8th position in the Zamaretto Southern League.
Luke Ballinger was presented with the Man of the Match award by representatives of
ToolStation who sponsored the match.
Starting line up
1 Dafyyd Jones
2 Mike Reaney
3 Craig Fullam
4 Callum Henry (Sub. Greg Lake)
5 Jamie Cheeseman
6 Joe Gomes (Sub. Iain Carr)
7 Alex Lapham
8 Luke Ballinger
9 Mark Salter
10 Ricky Hulbert
11 Ben Thomson
Help the club and win As a club we have found ourselves in an unusual position where we have only had one home game since the middle of November. Think about that was before the World Cup, before the drama of penalty misses and Christmas, now into the new year. Now the whole of January! With three months of bills, outgoings on away matches and even travelling to matches that are called off to the weather at short notice. Plus a big up lift in our electricity and gas bills. That's all before the damage to the changing rooms from the big winter freeze and and even the vandalism of our Crowdfunder wall of thanks :-(
We've again been placed in a position where we're turning to our supporters to help. Find out more about why we need your help