Frome Town 1 Paulton Rovers 0: Rovers narrowly lost out in the local derby against Frome Town in a game that saw plenty of shots but neither keeper needing to make many saves.

Rovers supporters arrived at Badgers Hill with a definite air of trepidation for the game ahead as the memory of the recent 7-2 hammering by Frome in the first meeting of the season lingered in the air. Much has changed at Rovers since that time though; including a number of changes to the squad and with a good performance against Mousehole last weekend behind them, there would also be high hopes for a more competitive performance.

Paulton Rovers narrowly lose out to Frome Town.
(Paul Green)

The hosts saw the majority of the ball the early on and created two chances in the first five minutes. The first from a highly dubious free-kick from which Jonathan Davies hit the side netting and secondly, a shot from distance by Zachary Drew that flew well wide. It took until the 13th minute from the visitors to get some decent movement. Jamarni Langlais, who worked tirelessly across the front line for the whole game, put in some good work on the right that opened up some space for Sam Pashen to get a shot away. But it was an easy take for Kyle Phillips in the Frome goal. It would be Rovers’ only shot that the keeper had to stop in the whole game.

Frome continued to make most of the pressing but the Rovers defence was resolute and were able to deal with the attacks restricting Frome to shots from distance that weren’t troubling Frankie Phillips. Rovers continued to work hard and in the 28th minute put together a sweeping counter attack from which Jamarni Langlais strike was deflected away for a corner.

In the 36th minute, Frome came the closest to scoring when a shot from the right was spilled by Phillips but he recovered just in time to prevent Kane Simpson from smashing the ball in. The final few minutes played out with neither team troubling the goal and the half ended all square. Frome would have been disappointed not to have the lead after having the majority of the ball but Rovers will have been happy to have frustrated them in return.

The second half was a far more even affair and it took just two minutes for Langlais to break free of his marker and put in a great cross from the left. Dan McBeam had anticipated it but went just too early and the ball passed frustratingly behind him. Moments later, Kane Simpson had two attempts at the Rovers goal but the first was blocked and the second, well wide.

In the 53rd minute, Dan McBeam jinked past his man and fired a cross from the right. Jamarni Langlais was there but his shot was blocked and skewed wide for a corner. The game had become far more open and following another half chance for Frome, Rovers won two corners in quick succession.

From the second, taken by Ed Butcher, the ball was partly cleared and came free in the box. Dan Restorick got to it first and poked the ball back toward Dan McBeam, but as he did so Frome’s George Rigg caught his ankle. It was a clear penalty but any protests were waived away by the referee.

Over the next few minutes, both teams created further chances all of which missed the target. Simpson and Drew for Frome and O’Hare and Butcher for Rovers. Butcher’s attempt was hit hard and only just went wide but just seconds later, Frome had the ball in Rovers’ net. Ross Staley pulled a cross back from the left that was met by Zachary Drew who fired past Phillips. It was a bitter blow after so much good work by the Rovers defence.

The visitors never lost hope though and continued to press in the final minutes. Shots from Sam Pashen and Martin Lenihan were struck sweetly enough, but again, not on target. Frome were unable to create another decent chance despite the potential to counter attack as Rovers pressed and the game ended with just the single goal separating the teams.

After the game the boss, Kyle Tooze, summed the game up succinctly by suggesting that the reason that Frome are challenging at the top is that they take every chance that they get. A more clinical Rovers could have seen them take an important point in the battle at the other end of the table.

Despite the last two results, Rovers have seen a marked improvement in performance and with three home games in a row to come, there is plenty to be confident about.

Next up, its Malvern Town on Saturday, 20th January at The Winterfield Stadium.

First team

Sat 20/1 Malvern Town (H) 3:00pm kick off


Thurs 18/01 Mangotsfield U18’s (H) 7:30pm kick off

Thurs 25/01 Bishops Lydeard (H) 7:30pm kick off

Ladies 1st team

Sun 21/01 Gloucester City (H) 2:00pm kick off

Jon Green