The Summer has been busy for the U18s and seen a number of friendlies take place against a number of adult sides and Bath City in advance of the start of the season.. Catch up on the match reports for the future stars of Frome Town F.C.
Frome Town Sports (ADULT) 8 - 3 Frome Town U18s (HT 3-1)
CorshamTownU18 0 - 1 Frome Town U18s (HT 0-1)
Frome Town U18 3 – 4 Bath City Academy U18s (HT 1-2)
Westbury Utd Development (ADULT) 7 – 1 Frome Town U18s (HT 2-1)
Frome Town Sports (ADULT) 8 - 3 HT(3-1)
FromeTownU18s Keinan, Wheeler Jnr, Barnaby, Wheeler, Adam Welch, Joe Rendle, Curtis Goodwin©, Brotherton, Pollock, Porter, Russell. Subs: Wright FosuGharban Mori Ollie Dugout: FosuGharban(M)
Frome Town U18 played their second game of the preseason again against adults as they were overpowered by a wily Frome Town Sports side. Frome were missing all three skippers with Brewster & Lunt away while skipper Seviour played for Sports. U18 fullback Carver also played for Sports while both U18 keepers Bond and Locke were also absent.
New U16 graduates Rose & Charlie were also away while stalwart defender Pack and flying fullback Wells were also unavailable. In addition false 9 Rudi, midfielder Mead were unavailable as was midfielder Gould who was injured. With so many missing U18s drafted in some adult help with young coaches Curtis and Rendle playing in midfield while Welch started at leftback while manager Gharban helped out as sub. Frome took advantage of the new goalkick rule early on with their centre backs splitting as narrow as the 6 yard box rather than the width of the penalty area when building up.
However while defenders Wheeler and Barnaby then looked to play good progressive passes in this phase Frome’s midfield rotation and understanding of how to use central midfielders dropping into collect needing work. Sports won an early corner and true to form took the lead through a header as U18s Achilles heel (or perhaps head) came to the fore again with U18 unable to clear despite having all players back in the penalty area. It seems technical work on the actual timing and technique of heading may be the approach required along with ensuring that the accuracy of the corner delivery is addressed with a corner delivery ‘blocker’ as was used last season but not on this occasion. Frome however settled down into a nice pattern of deep possession and deep counterpress withal 4 defenders showing good composure on the ball as they tried to pick passes into midfielders feet as they looked to play through the thirds.
With the opponents pushing up to press U18s Frome got in behind Sports defence a couple of times and had a chance cleared of the line after the keeper saved a 1v1. However, Frome’s profligacy was punished as an unfortunate deflection led to an own goal from Welch for 2-0. Frome continued with good football from the back with Porter, Pollock & Russell cleverly dropping off to form overloads to aid buildup and the looking to then stretch the Sports high defence with runs in behind. However U18 conceded again as the detail of their defending, especially in the midfield unit was slightly off allowing Sports into a 3-0 lead. However U18 pulled a great goal back after Welch rounded the keeper for 3-1 after a left side run in behind the high sports defence after a great long pass from Wheeler.
The second half followed a similar pattern with U18 looking to play out of the back, tempt Sports up the pitch and play in behind or via diagonals into runners. To this end U18 got two more goals after 1v1s after runs in behind the high Sports defence with finishes by Porter & the pacy Pollock. However with subs and tiredness setting in and the general high quality of the Sports team U18 conceded 5 more goals as their experienced opponents punished U18s slight lack of detail in defensive terms.
Generally U18 gave a good account of themselves with their build up and passing good. The areas for improvement would be in the central midfield rotation and in the discipline of keeping at least one if not 2 midfielders deeper to stop counterattacks something that stopped happening particularly second half. Also the detail in the defending in general could do with more work while fitness work must also continue. MOM: Russell
CorshamTownU18 0 - 1 FromeTownU18s HT(0-1)
FromeTownU18s Team: Rose, Wright, Barnaby, Wheeler, Mead, Wheeler Jnr, Russell, Seviour©, Pollock, Porter, Hardwick.
Subs: Brotherton, Rudi, Ollie.
Dugout: Fosu Gharban(M), Curtis Goodwin, Anthony Millard
Frome Town U18 played their third game of the preseason and their first against their own age group versus a solid Corsham side. Frome were missing all two skippers with Brewster & Lunt away although main skipper Seviour was now back. U18 fullback Carver was out with injury while both U18 keepers Bond and Locke were also absent. New U16 graduate Charlie was also away while stalwart defender Pack and flying fullback Wells were also unavailable. In addition wide man Mori was unavailable as was midfielder Gould who was injured.
Frome had to put usual defender Rose in goal due to the lack of keepers while attackers Rudi & Hardwick returned to the squad. Frome started the game very well with dribbling of Hardwick, the industry and movement of Porter and the powerful running of Pollock causing Corsham issues. Pollock got in behind on several occasions but could not convert while a couple of good crosses by him were also not converted. Hardwick then went close with a sensational volley from the edge of the area that was spectacularly saved by the Corsham keeper. In defence Wheeler was imperious both dominant in the air and finding an excellent range of long and short passes as well. Right back Wright got up and down the line well and provided crosses while Wheelerjnr held his defensive midfield position well and protected the backline as Russell looked to get on the ball. Barnaby swept up in defence with aplomb while Mead showed a good fitness level overlapping on the left.
Frome took the lead after skipper Seviour was put through by the marauding Pollock down the left side of the penalty area. Seviour composed himself to fire low past the Corsham keeper for 1-0. Frome held this lead until half time with Corsham mostly threatening with fast breaks. One issue for Frome being that the two defensive midfielders were not always correctly positioned to stop counterattacks and didn’t always cover each other and work as a pair if one went to press in midfield. However the work rate of the midfield could not faulted with plenty of time left in preseason to work on the tactical side of things.
The second half saw Corsham come out fighting and Frome had to knuckle down and earn the right to play again as Corsham forced stand in keeper Rose into 2 or three outstanding saves which included one flying save to tip the ball onto the bar. Frome however were still a threat and hardworking wide man Oliie had two excellent chances to seal the game first missing from close range after the keeper spilled a cross before curling narrowly wide after the keeper was caught way out of position. Frome saw the game out 1-0 and can be very pleased with their efforts against a solid Corsham side that will be in their division next season. The areas to work on remain fitness, central midfield rotation & the structure of the pressing in the central midfield area.
Frome Town U18 3 – 4 Bath City Academy U18 (HT 1-2)
FROME TOWN U18 team: Zak, Ollie, Barnaby, Wheeler, Pack, Lunt, Wheeler Jnr, Seviour©, Pollock, Hardwick, Russell.
Subs: Bond(GK), Wright, Mead, Brotherton, Mori, Rudi, Cagilaba Dugout: Fosu Gharban(M), AnthonyMillard
Frome Town U18 game a very good account of themselves against a very talented Bath City Academy side who impressing particularly with their striking of the ball for long range shots and set piece deliveries. Frome gave a debut to U16 goalkeeper Zak in the first half who excelled. Frome presented a strong side while still missing keeper Locke, defenders Rose, Wells, Carver & Brewster midfielder Gould and attacker Porter.
Frome started the game very well and for a good 25 minutes keep the ball well and progressed the ball up the pitch well. Russell and Pollock regularly dropping in to create overloads during build up, while deep midfielders WheelerJnr and Lunt sat in well to stop counterattacks and used the ball well. Skipper Seviour pressed the ball ferociously as well as hitting some perceptive passes and dribbles. Defenders Ollie, Barnaby, Wheeler & Pack distributed the ball well and defended with detail.
However Frome did not capitalize on this period of good play and as ever were caught out by their weakness on defending corners. With Bath placing several player on the goal line and swinging the ball under the bar Frome again struggled to attack the ball, or alter the trajectory of the corner sufficiently with a corner blocker to make it easier to deal with. Frome lost coverage of the penalty area by concentrating more on following men (reactive) than marking zones and attacking the ball (proactive) and it is a major area of concern going into the new season. Two Bath deliveries from corners resulted in Bath going two nil up somewhat harshly in terms of general play, although set pieces are part of the game and Frome must improve in that area. Frome however continued with their good general play and false 9 Hardwick played in the pacey Pollock who scored to make it 2-1 at half time.
The second half saw Frome make wholesale changes with Rudi Cagilaba and Pollock in attack, Brotherton Seviour and WheelerJnr in midfield with Mead and Wright now at fullback. Frome got caught cold just after half time with the Bath player cutting inside and scoring a fantastic strike into the top corner for 3 – 1. Frome however continued with their good general play with Pollock’s pace and movement a constant threat. First Pollock forced his way through to finish 1v1 for 3-2 before then equalizing after a miskick from the Bath keeper left him with an open goal for 3-3.
However with time running out Bath hit the winner after a goalmouth melee saw the Bath attacker finish low into the net for 4-3. Frome almost equalized after a barnstorming run by centre back Wheeler saw his shot saved spectacularly by the Bath keeper to see the match finish 4-3.
Frome can be very pleased with such a good performance against such esteemed academy opposition.
As a conclusion U18 can look at the following issues: 1) Defending of corners is an issue that needs resolving. Both understanding of proactive zonal marking, blocking the accuracy of the delivery and actually improving the ability of players to head the ball. 2) Pressing patterns and triggers for a front three must be revised now that 2 out of 3 of last season’s attack are now not at the club MOM: Pollock
Westbury Utd Development (ADULT) 7 – 1 Frome Town U18 (HT 2-1)
FROME TOWN U18 Team: Kevin Balchin, Ollie , Loui Stillman, Wheeler, Kevin Deadman, Cagilaba, Brewster, Seviour©, Mori Hardwick, Pollock
Subs: Fosu, Gharban Nathan Conradi Dugout: Fosu Gharban(M)
A much depleted Frome Town U18 played their second game in two days against a powerful Westbury Development side the day after playing Bath City Academy U18 as Frome continued to try and get all their players some match fitness before the start of the season. With so many missing for the Friday evening match some adult help was called in with Kevin Balchin in goal with Loui Stillman at centre back and Kevin Deadman at left back with the manager also getting a runout from the bench along with Nathan Conradi. 8 U18s got more experience against adult opposition here with almost 25 U18 players unavailable for the game. Frome played superbly in the first half keeping excellent possession with their midfield trio of Cagilaba, Brewster and skipper Seviour showing great feet and energy while attackers Mori, Pollock & Hardwick had real pace and dribbling going forward.
Fullback Ollie and Kev overlapped well with Ollie showing and appetite for a tackle despite his smallish frame. Frome created several good chances with Pollock, Seviour & Hardwick all going close with Seviour striking the post. Westbury were restricted to mostly longer passes after some nice deep buildup that Frome could mostly deal with, with Wheeler & Loui Stillman very strong in the air. However Frome conceded first after a technical error in a build up from their keeper’s possession. Balchin the keeper received possession but the new central defensive partnership of Loui and Wheeler pushed out rather than splitting likely due to a lack of familiarity. Midfielder Brewster meanwhile dropped in to make an option receiving the ball in the diagonal pocket wide of the two centre backs. Brewster was closed down and without the multiple passing options deep split centre backs would usually offer, Brewster was robbed while trying to keep possession as encouraged by his manager & the Westbury attacker scored past Balchin 1v1 to give Westbury a somewhat harsh lead.
Frome however continued with their good play with Ollie’s overlaps prominent along with good midfield play from Cagilaba, Brewster & Seviour. False 9 Hardwick was played in and finished superbly 1v1 to get Frome deservedly level. However, just before half time Frome’s perennial Achilles heel saw them go into HT 2-1 down as yet another goal was conceded from a corner with manager Gharban losing an aerial contest in the prime scoring area to see the ball headed into the net by a Westbury attacker. However, Frome had an excellent first half given lack of familiarity and numbers on the day. The second half saw Frome run out of steam as key men Pollock & Seviour were forced off with fatigue.
Now unable to hold the ball in final third in the same way as when these two players were on the pitch Frome were overpowered by a strong second half Westbury side who were able to present almost a completely new 11 with no little quality to boot. Westbury went on to play some good football against a now tired Frome including scoring a spectacular overhead kick. Frome’s keeper on the day Balchin made some good saves while defenders Loui & Wheeler defended superbly. Frome can be happy with this fixture as the main aim was match fitness and player experience vs adult opposition. The first half in particular was very promising but playing the second half without key men Pollock & Seviour was a step to far against this level of opposition. The players including the older players called in at short notice to allow the game to go ahead should be commended.