MATCH REPORT: Frome Town 3-3 Bristol Manor Farm

The late comeback by Frome couldn’t dampen Farm’s spirits as they secured their place in the Southern League Division One South Play-Offs, writes Jack Davies.

Despite an incredible run of nine wins in ten matches, Farm still knew that had work to do to secure a spot in the top five. With Mousehole and Larkhall ready to capitalise on any mistake and an extremely tough assignment away to Frome, who themselves could still win the title, on just a single day’s rest – it certainly wasn’t going to be a simple afternoon for Lee Lashenko’s men.

That tough afternoon began in the worst possible manner as Frome took the lead inside five minutes. George Rigg sent a wide free kick into the area and it evaded everyone before bouncing into the far corner and in. That goal temporarily had Frome in prime spot to lift the title with rivals Wimborne behind early but just minutes after news of an equaliser in Melksham, Farm got one of their own. Owen Brain’s driven free kick was too hot to handle for home keeper Phillips and Dan Dodimead was the quickest to react as he lifted the loose ball into the roof of the net. An entertaining first half continued with chances at either end. Dodimead had another effort that sliced just wide before a Frome corner was deflected onto the crossbar and behind to safety.

Great scenes as Dan Dodimead levelled the scoring at Badgers Hill
Great scenes as Dan Dodimead levelled the scoring at Badgers Hill

If Frome started the first half well, Farm started the second even better. Barely two minutes after the restart and they were ahead after miscommunication in the Frome backline, led to an indirect free kick just inside the area. Jayden Nielsen had gotten a lot of assists of late, but this latest one was one of his easiest. A little roll to Brain, who absolutely rifled the ball into the far top corner to send the numerous travelling fans wild. The already delighted away contingent were then sent into delirium with twenty minutes left to play. Dodimead at it again as the home keeper’s untimely slip left the ball loose and although the Farm striker still had a lot to do, he lifted a superb finish into the unguarded net for his brace and his side’s two-goal lead. Farm looked to be in control before a crazy final few minutes set up a tense finale. Frome substitute James Ollis capitalised on a loose ball in the area to tap home in the 88th minute before Frome completed the comeback in injury time. Reece Rusher allowed too much time to advance towards the Farm area before unleashing a fine strike into the top corner. A draw was always going to be enough to secure a play-off spot but results elsewhere ensured a fourth placed finish after an outstanding 2024 so far.