Bath City (0) 3 Frome Town (0) 1 – Tuesday 28 November 2023 – Somerset Premier Cup 2nd Round – Twerton Park

Bath City (0) 3 Frome Town (0) 1 – Tuesday 28 November 2023 – Somerset Premier Cup 2nd Round – Twerton Park

Match Report by Mark Stillman.

Second half goals from Scott Wilson, Ewan Clark and Cody Cooke helped Bath City oust Frome Town out of the Somerset Premier Cup for a third successive season.

Kane Simpson kept up Step 4 Frome’s record of scoring in every game since the opening day but it was mere consolation for the Robins.

Slavomir Huk and Harley Giles made assured debuts from the start, with academy players Jacob Cook, Kristian Andrew and Raphael Oppong earning late run-outs.

City’s success earns them a place in the quarter-finals and extends their unbeaten run to six games.

Huk was one of six changes from Saturday’s draw at Farnborough and received his first test on 11 minutes. Ross Staley craftily attempted to shoot from a corner, but the Slovakian stopper was sharp enough to turn behind at his near post.

The keeper also turned away James Ollis’ shot low to his left after Will Taylor played him through.

Bath’s best chances arrived of the half arrived nearing its conclusion. The lively Oscar Thorn shot too close to Tom Roberts after trying to catch him out at his near post, before forcing the keeper into a decent save just under his bar when Clark found the winger in oceans of space.

Jordan Dyer’s header from Chris Lines’ corner was tidily gloved behind by Roberts as Frome were under the cosh, their cause not helped by Ollis pulling up with a recurrence of a hamstring injury and failing to appear for the second half.

City didn’t let off after the break, scoring within 100 seconds of the restart.

Clark’s driving run saw him eventually run into the away defence, but the ball ricocheted kindly to Wilson who touched inside and drove home from 18 yards.

Thorn and Clark were denied by the impressive Roberts before substitute Dan Hayfield shot over from an acute angle on the stretch after Joe Raynes’ cross was helped on by Cooke.

Frome squandered a chance to level on 69 minutes. Simpson led a charge forward and slipped the ball behind to Sam Meakes, but Huk was equal to his effort with a strong glove to his left.

The Romans’ lead was doubled five minutes later. Thorn got the better of Matt Wood on the byline and attempted a shot towards the far corner which was drifting wide. Fortunately Clark was on hand to steer into the roof of the net from a yard out, notching his first goal since August.

Cooke made it 3-0 with 10 minutes remaining. Thorn pulled the ball back to Raynes whose first-time cross was comfortably headed home from six yards – a customary goal against Frome for the striker making it 10 in all competitions this season and 10 against the Robins in six matches including friendlies.

Lines, two days short of his 38th birthday, nearly capped off a fine first start of the campaign but his effort from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide.

Jerry Gill introduced academy players Andrew and Oppong for their debuts with victory assured, moments before the visitors claimed a late consolation.

Former City midfielder Jon Davies neatly lofted the ball over for Simpson, who remained onside before racing through and keeping his cool to slam past the helpless Huk from 16 yards.

Davies nearly set up a frantic finale in added time when he capitalised on good work by Meakes but his attempted curler was repelled by Huk to his right.

Ultimately it could have been a larger win by Gill’s side but he can’t ask for much more than confidence-boosting progression and no injuries ahead of Saturday’s league meeting with Chelmsford City.

Att: 416

City’s Line-Up: Huk, Raynes, Dyer, Parselle (c) (Cook 80), Clark (Oppong 87), Cooke (Andrew 87), Frear, Giles (Russe 64), Lines, Thorn, Wilson (Hayfield 64). Sub not used: Buse.

Scorers: City – Wilson (47), Clark (74), Cooke (80); Frome – Simpson (88)

City Bookings: Parselle (29)

Officials: W Payne, J Knowles, D Trevaskus