FOOTBALL: Foster mans barricades as Frome end home horror

On-loan striker Mark Francis scored on his Frome debut

On-loan striker Mark Francis scored on his Frome debut

First published in Sport by

ADRIAN Foster has challenged his side to come full circle and celebrate dispelling their home hoodoo by turning Badgers Hill into a fortress.

Frome notched their first home victory since March last year with a hard-fought success over Banbury United on Wednesday night.

After seeing his side end their agonising wait for some home comfort, boss Foster is targeting a more positive run of form for the Robins.

“You could see in the players’ body language that they were thinking ‘oh, we’re playing at home again’ but I had to tell them that there was no pressure,” he said.

“When I was a player, I didn’t care whether I was playing at home or away – all that mattered was putting the shirt on and playing football.

“They went out there and played ever so well. They were an absolute credit to everyone involved behind the scenes at the football club.

“At 9.30pm on Wednesday night, everyone was jumping around in the dressing room and it was great to see.

“I want us to turn it around and go on an unbeaten run at home now. I want us to say ‘this is Frome Town’s ground and anyone that comes here has to work hard to get anything’.”

Defender Jack Vallis’ first goal for Frome to put the hosts ahead and, after Kwame Forah felled Ricky Hulbert, they had the chance to go 2-0 up but keeper Forah saved Ben Wood’s spot kick.

The visitors won a penalty of their own in the 40th minute, Scott Bridges hammering home the equaliser before on-loan Swindon Town striker Mark Francis restored the home side’s lead with a goal on his debut.

Bridges levelled again on the stroke of half-time but Wood popped up with a second-half winner.

After securing an initial one-month loan deal for Francis, Foster is hoping to take advantage of his relationship with Swindon manager Mark Cooper, who he played with at Exeter City and Rushden & Diamonds.

He said: “I played with Mark at a few clubs – you might not stay in touch with everyone but he’s one of the ones I have done.

“He’s invited me down to their ground to have a look at how they do things at a professional club so I’ve got a little bit of a link there.”

Hulbert’s late strike wasn’t enough to prevent a 2-1 defeat to bottom side Bashley on Saturday.

Midfielder Harry Baker made his return in that clash after joining from Foster’s former side Gillingham Town while midfielder Alex Lapham and forward Wood have turned down approaches from Paulton Rovers and Bridgwater Town respectively.

Frome go to title favourites Hemel Hempstead Town tomorrow.

MORE FOOTBALL REPORTS, REACTION & PICTURES IN THIS WEEK'S WILTSHIRE TIMES, OUT NOW

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