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Tuesday 3rd October BigFreeBet Cup Paulton Rovers 1 Frome Town 2

In a flurry of goals around the hour mark, with Joe Raynes and Marcus Mapstone scoring for Frome and David Sims pulling one back for Paulton, Frome moved on to the next round with a 2-1 victory over local rivals Paulton Rovers.

In this newly-named version of the “Southern League Cup”, Frome were again drawn away from home, but with Paulton being one of the nearer grounds, the Frome fans were able to turn out in reasonable numbers to watch what was to be an entertaining of good football.

Frome’s squad had Ben Withey making his first start of the season at right back and Ollie Knight started the match wide on the left wing. Mitchell Page, Sam Teale and Kris Miller were absent and the return of Connor Roberts was again delayed due to complications with his re-registration.

On a very good pitch, the match kicked off with Frome playing up the slope and after an even start, Frome went close in the 8th as Ollie Knight cut in from the left to bring a good save from Andrew Hannah, and though Jake Jackson was first to the rebound, his shot cleared the bar by a distance.

A minute later, Jon Davies showed his class with a mazy run that took him through three challenges, only to hit his left foot shot over the bar and spoil what would have been a superb individual goal.

As the match settled, Frome started to have more of the territory and possession, playing patient, passing football, and it almost paid off in the 17th as Griffiths overlapped well on the right and hit a searching cross that begged for someone to get on the end of it, and he repeated the feat a few minutes later with a similar result.

However, Paulton looked sharp on the break and Tyrone Tucker-Wilson did well to run at the Frome defence, get to the deadball line and pull the ball back dangerously, with only a Mapstone block denying Mario Mateus a probable goal.

However, despite the chances in a fast, open game that was being played in a good spirit, neither keeper was really troubled in the half and at half time the score remained 0-0.

Playing down the slope, Frome started the second half well and after Joe Raynes had brought a good save from Hannah with a low header, and Darren Jefferies had beaten the offside trap and shot just past the far post. They opened the scoring in the 57th minute as a low corner was swung in and Raynes pulled the ball onto his left foot and hit a crisp half volley into the net from 12 yards out.

They made it 2-0 two minutes later as a lovely flowing move on the left resulted in Hannah making another good save to tip a Jefferies shot round for a corner. But as the corner was swung in, it was almost deja vu as this time Marcus Mapstone hit a crisp left foot half volley into the net from a similar position to the first goal.

Paulton pulled one back two minutes later as the flurry of goals continued, this time a cross from the right was picked up by David Sims who used his strength to advance into the box and shoot low under Kyle Phillips and make it an interesting last half hour.

However, despite Jefferies curing a shot just past the far post after Knight had set him up and Paulton going very close in the 88th with a shot from Josh Morgan Williams that hammered against the Frome cross bar, neither side scored again and Frome move into the next round.

It is worth noting that this match allowed Frome to bring on several substitutes in Harry Barnes, Lewis Graham and the veteran Ben Cleverley and all did well on the pitch, and with Ben Griffiths doing well at right back and Ollie Knight re-discovering his pace, skill and confidence in a very good performance, the squad looks stronger.

Winger Ollie Knight was awarded the H&B Tyres Man of the Match Award and this match showed what a good player he is and how he can trouble opposing defences when his confidence is high. Crowd: 168. Entertainment Value: 4/5

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