Under a warm November sun, Frome Town Women made the trip west, across the Mendips, to face off against Weston-Super-Mare Ladies. It was the fourth time the teams have met this season already, this being their second meeting in the League. After taking victory here in the Somerset Junior Cup just three weeks ago, Frome were looking to now bring home three points in their League campaign. Last Sunday, Frome defeated league leaders, AEK Boco at Badger’s Hill, cementing their third place in the table and closing the gap on the leaders and today presented a good opportunity to win another three points.
After the players, coaches and officials observed the minute of silence for Remembrance, the match got underway with Frome making quick progress through the home side to create early shooting chances for today’s striker partnership of Thorner-Atkinson and Peet, with Weston scrambling hard to block shots and close Frome down.
Frome pressure paid-off quickly after though when in the 6th minute when a Minty Corner was cleared only as far as Minty herself who flighted the ball into Bristow to half volley the ball past the Weston goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to Frome.
Weston tried to look for ways through the Frome defence as they looked to feed the ball down their right wing and get in behind Frome’s back line, or tried to play down the middle and create a one on one with Frome’s goalkeeper. Frome’s back line though held firm with Edwards and Didymus, capably tracking the through balls and runners, while Perkins was a commanding presence in the middle of the defence, seemingly reading Weston’s through balls and preventing any trouble from getting goal-side. It was an impressive display by an experienced defender that carried throughout the match, off the back of a similarly impressive performance last Sunday, and was to rightly bring Player of the Match to Perkins.
While Frome remained solid at the back, they continued to press forward, with Hill and Minty searching on the wings, with Bristow, Underhill and Starr looking to dominate the midfield and feed the ball forwards. In 14th minute Hill was fouled on the edge of the Weston box. Underhill stepped up to take the free kick, striking it sweetly, and with a deflection from a Weston defender, carried into the net to make it 2 - 0.
Frome's dominance continued and the chances flowed with Thorner-Atkinson missing a 1 on 1 chance wide of the post from a tight angle before skilfully linking up with Bristow who laid it off to Peet whose shot was saved. Moments later, Thorner-Atkinson found herself clear on goal again, crashing a thunderous shot against the Weston bar.
With 10 minutes to go before half time Frome decided to bring on some fresh legs with Whisstock and Regler on for Starr and Hill.
Frome’s continued dominance paid off when Bristow found Thorner Atkinson with a lovely pass who set up Peet to fire the ball past the Weston keeper with style to make It 3 – 0 to Frome; Peet’s first goal for FTW. With the half time approaching, Bristow tried her luck from edge of the box but the shot went straight to the keeper. Nevertheless, Frome went into the break looking comfortable in their three goal lead.
The Second Half started just like the first with Frome Town dominating and limiting to Weston to a couple shots from distance including one that was tipped onto the bar by the outstanding Restorick. But it was Frome who continued to dominate with Regler and Underhill the driving force in winning the possession to feed Whisstock on the right and Minty on the left.
So it was that the half started strongly for Frome when Bristow hit a incredible pass to Peet whose precision cross in to Thorner-Atkinson was confidently slotted past the goalkeeper to make it 4-0.
Weston came forward a few times but the solid defence of Didymus, Edwards and Perkins held tight with Restorick sweeping up behind when needed; the back three being comfortable in using Restorick as an extra player to retain possession when they could before going forward again.
After a period of play largely in the midfield, both sides made changes to freshen things up. Frome decided to rest Bristow and Peet, and bring on Crowther as well as welcoming back Starr to the field for the final 15 minutes of the game. While a few minutes later, Minty, who had a tireless game on the wings, bringing strength and energy to Frome, switched with Hill.
Entering the last ten minutes of the game, Whisstock’s pressure on the right won a corner for Frome. With Minty rested, Starr flighted in a far post corner that was sent back towards her before Starr returned the ball with interest for Underhill who had timed her run to the back post to perfection to volley into the net and make it 5 - 0 to Frome.
It was fitting end to the game for Frome as well, as with the last kick of the game, Hill superbly fed Thorner-Atkinson for a 1-1 on with the stand-in Weston keeper, having lost their first choice to injury, for Frome’s top scorer to slot home confidently and end the game 6 – 0 to Frome.
With rivals Pucklechurch and Weymouth in cup action today, the win puts Frome Women into 2nd place in the League, 2 points behind leaders AEK Boco. Frome Women now look to a run of four home games, starting with a local derby against Paulton Rovers Ladies, next Sunday at Badger’s Hill. All support will be massively appreciated by the team!
Thanks again to Ryan Atkins for help with this report.