Football: Frome off the mark after coming from behind to win

Football: Frome off the mark after coming from behind to win

Football: Frome off the mark after coming from behind to win

First published in Sport
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Frome Town finally arrested their early season slump as they came back from two goals down to beat managerless basement side Banbury United last weekend.

Adrian Foster's men had endured a miserable first month of the Southern League Premier Division, losing five successive matches after beating Histon on the opening day, with the Robins also suffering a humiliating 7-0 defeat to Poole Town on August 25.

But Frome got themselves back on track with a stirring comeback at Badgers Hill, with young striker Mark Francis netting twice to take his tally for the season to five goals.

The hosts got off to the worst possible start as Rhys Baggridge and stand-in defender Tom Golledge got themselves in a muddle, allowing Banbury's Josh Sharma to coolly run on to the ball and chip it over stranded keeper Lewis Pierre into the unguarded net.

The visitors could have easily doubled their lead a few minutes later as centre-half Tom Fishwick headed a corner over the Frome bar from a completely unmarked position on the far post.

But in the 13th minute, Banbury’s Lewis Strafford was shown a straight red for a lunging tackle on Matt Smith and from the resulting free-kick, a Ben Thomson header found the net, only for the offside flag to rule the goal out.

Frome should have equalised in the 22nd minute as Thomson chested a Josh Ford cross perfectly into the path of Francis, only for his former Swindon Town team-mate Leigh Bedwell to produce a good save.

The Robins' defensive frailties again led to Banbury’s second goal as two chances to clear the ball were spurned, allowing a Banbury forward to run into the area where he was taken down by Pierre, after which he was shown a yellow card. 

Jacob Walcott stroked the penalty home to put the ten-man visitors 2-0 up.

But as despair washed over the home crowd, Frome were thrown a lifeline on the stroke of half-time as a Jon Vance cross was fumbled by Bedwell, allowing Baggridge to poke the ball home from close range.

Foster’s side emerged with renewed purpose in the second period and they equalised just after the hour mark as Thomson powered through two tackles to lay the ball perfectly back for Francis to roll the ball into the net.

With ten minutes to go, as Thomson went up for a deflected Ricky Hulbert cross, the faintest of touches with his shoulder diverted the ball just inside the far post to make it 3-2.

The final minutes were uncomfortable for the hosts as Banbury pushed forward looking for an equaliser but Frome eventually made the points safe at the death as Baggridge burst from defence and produced a superb low ball that arrived perfectly into the path of Francis, who stroked an effort low into the corner from 15 yards to round off the comeback.

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