Paulton Rovers 2 Frome Town 7: A number of defensive issues late in the game saw Rovers crash to a heavy defeat in the local derby.
A hattrick for Kane Simpson, a brace for Reece Rusher and one each for Zach Drew and Warren Maidment sent the Frome fans home happy.
From the off, Frome took control of the game with incisive passing and movement off the ball. The visitors went close several times in the early minutes with the hosts defence looking somewhat shaky. But they didn't have it all their own way as in the 16th minute, Kye Simpson placed a searching pass to new signing, Wayne Nderemani, who long range strike was just high and wide.
But Frome still looked the more dangerous and got their reward in the 20th minute when they played out from the back quickly with two passes and Kane Simpson was in. He held off Nick Hewlett as he powered forward and struck a shot past Rob Brown in the Rovers goal.
The game settled a little after the frantic opening but still Frome looked the more likely to add to the score with Staley going close.
Nderemani looked like the player most likely to open up Frome and in the 41st minute he jinked his way to the byline and placed in a cross but it was cut out before a Rovers player could get there. The returning Kyle Tooze was his usual bullish self and was trying to cause problems up front. He worked himself a chance late in the half but his shot was deflected over the bar.
Just as Rovers had seemed to have worked their way back into the game, Frome hit them again. Braeden Symes and Jack Dancey seemed to get tangled up which allowed Frome's Kane Simpson to take the ball away. He moved it to the left and the resulting cross deflected backwards off a Frome player but into the path of Zac Drew who was able to tap home. Rob Brown had to make another save late in the half but despite some chances for Rovers, the scoreline seemed fair at half-time.
The second half began with Rovers needing to up their game. And for 25 minutes they did. They had a renewed purpose, picking up second balls and going into tackles in a way that just didn't happen in the first half. Kyle Tooze had another chance in the 50th minute but it was simple stop for Kyle Phillips in the Frome goal.
Just a couple of minutes later, the busy Wayne Nderemani launched in across from the right and Fin Haines got to the ball to nod home before the keeper could challenge. It was the incentive that the home team needed and they continued to push for an equaliser. The experienced David O'Hare replaced Toby Stephens in the 61st minute and he helped to stabilise the midfield area.
In the 64th minute, it was O'Hare's lobbed forward pass that got Kye Simpson on the move into the box. His shot, though, smashed off of the cross bar and away for a goal kick. Minutes later, Nderemani went on another of his mazy runs and worked some space on the right side of the box. He cut in onto his left foot but his shot was wide.
In the 70th minute, a throw in on the left allowed Kyle Tooze to hold the ball up and move it to Neil Martin who prodded it through the Frome backline to Fin Haines whose shot from a tight angle somehow beat the keeper at the near post. It was no more than Rovers deserved and now in the ascendancy, looked like the team more likely to go on and win the game.
But football is a notoriously hard game to predict, and from a Rovers goal kick, the ball came straight back and was prodded though to Reece Rusher who went one on one with with the keeper and neatly tucked the ball away. In the 84th minute, it seemed like the killer blow and knocked the confidence out of Rovers who succumbed again three minutes later. Frome seemed to easily move the ball around the Rovers defence on the left to get a cross in and Kane Simpson had a tap-in at the far post.
Despite an added 12 minutes due to a long injury stoppage, there was no hope left now. Heads had dropped and in the 92nd minute, Kane Simpson got his hattrick when he headed in from a corner seemingly unchallenged.
Three minutes later, another Rovers mistake allowed the ball to be put through to an unmarked Reece Rusher who had an age to pick his spot for Frome's sixth.
The cherry on Frome's cake came in the 100th minute when, just as Kane Simpson had done, Warren Maidment nodded in a corner unchallenged at the near post.
The Rovers fans left the ground not quite believing what they had seen in the final few minutes. Arguably, Frome deserved the win but the result was harsh on a Rovers team who were well in the game until the 84th minute. Freak ending and some defensive issues aside, there were positives to take away. Fin Haines continues shine, Wayne Nderemani looks to have settled very quickly and picked up an assist on his debut and Kyle Tooze, back in a Rovers shirt again, looks like he will continue to cause problems for the opposition backline.