Alex Lapham (45)
Sean Percival 73)
Steve Hunt (85)
Frome Town 3
Osbourne-Rickets (81 pen)
Salter (20 & 44)
Man of the Match: Mark Salter
Frome Town had waited 105 years for their first Southern League game, but they only
had to wait 80 seconds for their first Southern League goal, and went on to record a
comfortable 3-1 victory over Abingdon in a very satisfying first game.
With a full strength team (apart from Greg Lake still recovering from a ligament
injury), the long awaited game proved to be a dream start for Frome as Salter
immediately broke through the Abingdon defence and produced a right foot shot that
Beames did well to save, but the ball immediately broke clear to Frome stalwart Matt
Peters who clamly slid the ball low into the unguarded net from 10 yards to produce a
goal timed at 80 seconds.
Salter went close again with a shot in the 3rd minute, but then Abingdon caused
trouble in the 8th minute with a right wing free kick that was missed by Payne,
allowing an Abingdon header that brought a goal line clearance from Cheeseman. This
led to a period of play when Abingdon threw numerous players at the Frome defence,
but it held firm with excellent defensive work by the midfielders.
As often happens, throwing too many players upfield can leave holes at the back, and
on 20 minutes, Whittington produced a clever through ball to allow Salter to beat the
offside trap, round Beames in the visitors goal, and roll the ball into the empty net to
give Frome a 2-0 advantage.
This second goal seemed to rattle Abingdon, and Frankin was immediately booked for
a heavy challenge on Salter, but Frome carried on pressing home their advantage, and
Allison went close in the 28th minute after a good exchange with Salter. Allison again
looked dangerous in the 34th minute as he attacked on the left wing, cut inside his
marker and hit a low 20 yard shot that was just parried clear by Beames.
In the 43rd minute, Abingdon's Odhiambo managed to hit the base of the Frome post
from 5 yards when clean through, but it transpired that the goal would have been
disallowed for offside, however, Frome immediately countered, and in the 44th
minute, a superb Cowler cross from the right wing found Salter in space on the far
side of the goal, and the striker produced a superb volley to hit the roof of the net
from 15 yards out.
At half time, the Frome faithful were pinching themselves and expecting Abingdon to
come out firing on all cylinders, but it never really happened, and Frome caused
Abingdon's defence problems several times in the first 10 minutes, with the visitors
beginning to look a little dispirited. Whittington rected angrily to a heavy challenge in
the 56th minute, causing a huddle of angry players to form, but the referee dealt with
the incident sensibly, and the good spirit the game was being played in soon became
the norm again.
On a hot afternoon, the game started to slow a little, but Frome still had the edge
when going forward, and in the 71st minute a superb through ball from Peters led to
Whittington going just wide, but the offside flag would have ruled the effort out
anyway. Whittington was also involved with good passing movements in the Abingdon
box in the 73rd and 76th minutes, but the scoreline stayed the same.
As the game wore on, Frome looked to protect their lead, allowing Abingdon more of
the ball, and a period of pressure led to a shot that hit the arm of Cheeseman, with
the referee immediately blowing for a penalty. Osbourne-Rickets sent Payne the wrong
way and scored easily to bring the scoreline to 3-1 in Frome's favour.
Steve Hunt did well on the right wing in the 87th minute, allowing Gomes a shot that
hit Beames and spun just wide of the post, but in general, both sides were feeling the
heat in the last 10 minutes, and the Frome goal was never seriously in danger.
Match sponsor Paul Charles pesented Mark Salter with the man of the match award at
the end of the game.
Salts in action against Abingdon
Mascots Kathryn & Daniel Strange
Paul Charles with MOM Mark Salter
All photos courtesy of Club Photographer Charlie Hadfield
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