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Frome Town 3-2 Odd Down (AET) – Somerset Cup Semi Final, Wed. 2nd April

Frome Town can look forward to a date with Taunton Town in the final of the Somerset Premier Cup, after beating a very good Odd Down side 3-2, in a match that went to extra time and could well have resulted in either side going through as it was a very even affair.

With Ricky Hulbert starting a three match ban and Kris Miller cup tied, manager Adrian Foster moved Ben Wood into the number 10 position, started Brandon Mundy wide on the left and Jamal Branker wide on the right. The long time Frome supporters were pleased to see crowd favourite  ‘Crazy Ray’ Johnston in goal for Odd Down, a keeper who had developed a cult following during his days at Frome.

During a pre-season victory at Frome this season, Odd Down had shown what a useful side they are, and as this match started it was clear that the match was not going to be a one sided affair, with both teams looking to get the ball down and play football, but neither really able to create the opening that would lead to the first goal. As such, the first half was even, with Frome restricted to several long range efforts that  cleared the bar by a long way, and Odd Down having the best chance.

Ray Johnston was only called upon to make one save from Ben Thomson, and at half time, the game really needed a goal to liven things up as, although the football was good enough, there were few moments of excitement. Frome must have had a few choice words at half time, as they came straight out of the blocks and Ben Wood brought an early save from Johnston after good work by Mundy. Soon afterwards, Jack Vallis went very close as he slid in at the far post to get his foot to a free kick that had been whipped in by Jon Vance after Mundy had been fouled.

Odd Down replied in the 63rd minute as Ben White hit the base of the Frome post, but the ball came straight back up the field and Mundy produced a great run on the right to pull the ball back for Vance to shoot home unerringly from 12 yards.

A Thomson shot in the 70th brought a worrying moment for Johnston as the ball bounced high in the air, but he was able to retrieve at the second try, but then Odd Down went very close as Kye Simpson turned and shot across the face of the home goal.

The Odd Down equaliser arrived in the 78th minute as a free kick was headed back from the far post and Simpson coolly slotted home from 10 yards.

Frome had a couple of chances to win the match in normal time but the winner never arrived and the match moved into extra time.

The first half of extra time belonged to Odd Down, and they could well have sealed the match in this period. They made it 2-1 after two minutes as Chitty came out of his area and slid to deny Kye Simpson, but the ball ran straight to substitute Ruaridh Kay who immediately produced an accurate finish that saw the ball roll into the unguarded net from 25 yards out.

Odd Down’s Joe Raynes had a perfect opportunity to score after 10 minutes as a ball dropped perfectly to allow him to volley from 12 yards, but the scuffed shot bounced well clear and after Kye Simpson had shot wide, substitute Twaine Plummer could have wrapped the game up but he screwed the ball wide of the far post.

Strangely, the second half of extra time belonged completely to Frome and they equalised in the 1st minute as Tim Stephenson headed a lovely Mark Cooper cross onto the post, the ball rebounded, wasn’t cleared and Thomson shot home with his left foot from 15 yards.

Three minutes later and Frome were 3-2 up as Josh Ford cut in from the right, pulled the ball back to Thomson who was then clipped by Adnan Hiroli as he went to shoot. Jon Vance despatched the penalty high into the roof of the net and from that moment on, Frome closed the game out and were eventual winners.