City v Frome Town Preview

Twerton Park hosts a Somerset derby on Saturday when we welcome Frome Town for an FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round tie. This match will create a lot of local interest after the Robins’ stunning win against Oxford City in the last round and a large crowd is expected.

The narrow win two weeks ago at Shaftesbury was City’s first appearance in the competition this season but this will be Frome’s fourth having been fortunate to receive home draws in previous rounds. They dispatched fellow Southern League South teams Paulton Rovers and Mangotsfield Town before facing a much more difficult task.

City fans have painful memories of our league defeat on Bank Holiday Monday at high flying Oxford City and would not have expected them to face many problems in their trip to Badgers Hill.

Frome have made an unbeaten start in the League, lying in third place with 14 points from 6 matches which have been achieved with contributions from some former City players.

George Rigg made 73 appearances over two seasons before joining Chippenham Town in 2018 and on Boxing Day 2019 scored a screamer past Ryan Clarke at Twerton Park.

He moved to Frome over the past summer to team up with Jon Davies, who made 13 appearances in the stripes a few seasons back, and two products of the City Academy in James Ollis and Martin Lenihan. The latter was on the scoresheet for the Robins when they hosted City in a 4-1 friendly defeat back in early July which saw Cody Cooke score a hat trick.

Although Frome were regular opponents of the City’s reserve team in the Western League there have been only 15 competitive meetings at senior level with six of these coming in the Somerset Cup.

There have been three previous meetings in the Cup, all at Badgers Hill. City had little trouble in knocking out their near neighbours in both 1950 and 1969 but one of the biggest shocks in our long history in the competition came in 1984.

City went into the 3rd Qualifying Round match in good form, having suffered just three defeats in their opening twelve Gola League fixtures, and would have expected to comfortably brush past a side playing three levels below them. The Robins, managed by a former City man Peter Thomas, had other ideas and, despite a goal from Keith Brown, a double from another ex-Twerton Park player Bertie Allen helped them to a shock 3-1 win which is still painfully remembered by older City supporters.

Despite that 1984 defeat, City were regular winners when they had to play at this stage of the competition in the last century but the early years of the present one proved to be more challenging. Failures to beat Aylesbury, Gosport, Shortwood, Harlow and Potters Bar at Twerton Park have contributed to a rather modest Cup record in recent years but things have got back onto track more recently with both Lewis and Hemel Hempstead being dispatched by three goal margins.

Everything points to an exciting match with the Robins, who are expected to be very well supported on Saturday. Attendances at Twerton have been excellent so far this season and the team will be hoping for a large turn out to roar them into the next round!

Finally a reminder that Cup matches are all pay. Tickets can be bought online with a saving of 10%.