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Frome Town 2-0 Wimborne Town – FA Cup First Qualifying Round, Sat. 13th Sept.

Confidence is a wonderful thing, and Frome were clearly short of it at the start.

After struggling to get into this game for the first 70 minutes, they took the lead for the first time this season through Tom Golledge, kept their first clean sheet and won the match with a second late goal from Matt Smith.

With the welcome return to the squad of Jack Vallis and Aaron Rodriguez, for the first time this season, Frome were able to pick a side from a fully fit squad, and on paper, it looked a good side, but Wimborne quickly made it clear that they had come for a win as Mark Hamble broke through in the third minute only to shoot just wide under pressure from Rhys Baggridge.

Frome settled quickly with Ben Thomson testing Jason Harvell a couple of times in the first 10 minutes, but then Wimborne took control, winning several corners and forcing Mark Cooper to clear off his own goal line from one, and with Hamble bringing a good low save from Darren Chitty, it only seemed like a matter of time before the visitors took the lead.

At this point Frome were struggling to gain possession or territory, and with Wimborne always looking the more dangerous, Frome’s defence were coming under pressure continuously, though the presence of Jack Vallis was obviously a stabilising influence.

As the half came to a close, Frome had a couple of long range shots that were easily dealt with, but confidence was still lacking and Wimborne had definitely been the better side.

Straight from the kick off for the second half, Wimborne’s Max Brimson found space on the left wing to pull the ball back into the Frome box and only two brave blocking tackles denied the visitors, then the dangerous Hamble had a big shout for a penalty as his cross hit a Frome hand, but nothing was given.

At this stage, Wimborne were finding acres of space on the left wing and Hamble and Matt Kemble were starting to take it in turns to hit dangerous crosses in from the left, but a shrewd substitution saw the gap plugged as Ricky Hulbert came on allowing Kris Miller to drop back into the right back slot.

Frome started to look dangerous in the 70th minute as a Matt Smith header brought an excellent save from Jason Harvell and after another substitution, Tom Golledge just stabbed a loose ball wide from close range after a powerful run and shot from Ben Thomson had come back off the post.

Hamble again broke through for Wimborne but his shot just skimmed the outside of the Frome post, and a minute later Frome took the lead for the first time this season as Thomson’s power again allowed him to lay the ball across the goal to Golledge who slid and poked the ball home from close range at the second attempt.

This goal may yet prove to be the turning point in Frome’s season as they instantly looked better and the excellent Thomson could have added a second a few minutes later as he volleyed just wide, then Harvell brought off a stunning save to deny Golledge from close range, and an equally good save on the line stopped a Smith header.

The goal that sealed the win arrived in the 87th minute as Thomson again powered into the box, held the ball for what seemed like an eternity, then laid it into the path of Smith who hit a great left foot shot into the far corner giving Harvell no chance and Frome a place in the draw for the 2nd qualifying round.

Aaron Rodriguez was chosen for the “H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award” by match sponsor “Bumble”.

Frome Scorers: Golledge (77), Smith (87). Wimborne Scorers: None. Crowd: 153. Star Man: Aaron Rodriguez. Entertainment Value: 4.