Bristol Rovers U18 12 – 0 (HT 4-0) Frome Town U18 (Floodlit)
Frome Town U18 undertook this arduous but challenging friendly against a superb Bristol Rovers academy side on Thursday at the 3G pitch at home ground of Rovers U18 at the Lockleaze playing centre.
Frome unfortunately were missing first team starlets Crossman and Locke along with key men Pollock, Wilf, Porter, Farley and Wheeler. However Frome still had a good turnout for the game taking 20 players to the game including U16s Porter Jnr, Ollie and Rose. Frome’s main aim for this game was to try and test their ability to build play up from the back, especially centrally into half turned midfielders post central rotation against top class opposition who would press such actions with quality and make the game a real test.
The game started with Rovers unsurprisingly dominant with their technique and tactical awareness leading to a chance straight after kick off after a few switches of play but Bond made an outstanding 1v1 save. However, after this initial scare the game settled into a pattern which showed a bit of promise for Frome as they admittedly without any penetration or territorial advancement managed to hold a rampaging Bristol Rovers to scoreless for the first half an hour playing the ball around mostly deep in their half and in midfield before Rovers would nick the ball back and start another attack. In this period the all new central defensive partnership of Barnaby (usually a substitute fullback) and U16 player Rose was outstanding. Both in terms of passing the ball into central midfield movements and defending on the ground. Rose also showed himself to be outstanding aerially. The new defensive pairing freed up usual defence men Brewster & Boulton to play as holding players with usual defensive mid Lunt tested at right back. All these changes proved successful with Lunt secure on the right side and the movements of the midfield unit of Seviour, Brewster & Boulton very good. Bond was outstanding in goal. However the pressure and quality from Rovers had to tell and they eventually opened the scoring with a wonderful 25 yard curling finish for 1-0. Lunt had to come off with a bad back and this further disrupted Frome and Rovers killed the game with more quality movement and finishing to leave the score at 4-0 at HT.
Frome made wholesale changes second half to give the whole squad experience on the day. Rovers now took even more control. Surrounding the Frome penalty area on goal kicks with bodies sometimes with their whole ten out field players camped in the Frome half, setting traps and using intensive pressing to finish the game off whilst making it very difficult for Frome to play through the thirds while also dominating on the occasions when the Frome keeper would try and go longer to bypass the press. In the second half for Frome’s Rudi showed some good movements to try and receive longer passes in what was a very tough second half which ended up with a brilliant Rovers side scoring 8 more goals.
Frome can be happy with their efforts in their first game against this level of opposition. The things Frome need to work on would include more intensity (fitness) in recovering their positions after losing possession and working on playing into the 3rd line to bypass a press that has shut down options in the 1st and 2nd line after recycling possession back to the keeper after ‘activating’ a high press to open up spaces in behind.
TEAM A [1st HALF]
Lunt Barnaby Rose Clacee
Willis PorterJnr Hardwick
TEAM B [2ND HALF]
Carver Wright Boulton Clacee/Ferghal
Cagilaba Rudi Ollie
Dugout: Fosu Gharban, Anthony Millard, Danny Greaves