Frome Town 3
Poole Town 2
Poole Town again failed to stir from their current rut in form after falling to defeat at the hands of Southern League South & West side Frome Town, going out of the FA Trophy at the first attempt.
A combination of positive COVID cases and injuries thwarted Tom Killick’s choice in the line-up, with Joe Wickham handed a start, whilst Will Fletcher leaded the line in stead of top goalscorer Tony Lee.
Captain Jamie Whisken travelled but could only watch on as his groin injury needed to be managed.
There might have been a sense of trepidation among thee Dolphins’ ranks with so many missing players, but Poole fared well in the opening exchanges.
Neither side controlled proceedings but Poole looked relatively comfortable, eventually taking the lead after 17 minutes. Luke Holmes found space in the box to float the ball onto the head of stand-in striker Fletcher, who prodded the ball home with a neat header.
Dolphins’ lead wasn’t to last too long, with the hosts scoring in somewhat fortuitous circumstances.
A whipped cross couldn’t be controlled by Davies, his heavy touch kindly falling for Simpson to tap home.
Following a common trend of Poole’s recent games, bad luck was followed by an implosion by Poole – with the entire midfield and defence bypassed as Rex Mannings went on a dainty run.
Mark Childs didn’t exactly cover himself in glory as his hand wasn’t strong enough to deny the shot, but the goalkeeper was left exposed by his teammates as they conceded their lead in little over four minutes.
In the period shortly before the break Poole laid siege on the Frome goal, and perhaps should have had an equaliser when Luke Burbidge slotted a loose ball home after an initial save.
The linesman believed Burbidge to have come from an offside position, cancelling out the equaliser.
A combination of defender George Rigg and the post denied another leveller for the Dolphins.
After surviving two scares, Frome broke on the counter- with sloppy Poole defending again not good enough, allowing former Dolphins Jon Davies to run in on goal and loft the ball over Childs.
The second half almost started in the same fashion the first ended, with Davies again finding himself one-on-one with Childs. This time the goalkeeper came out on top, his feet poking the ball out for a corner in a fine stop.
Luke Burbidge, denied by the flag in the first half, wasn’t to be denied shortly after the hour mark.
A ball lofted over the top wasn’t properly headed away by Frome, allowing Burbidge to pull off his trade-mark drop of the shoulder, allowing him to thump the ball into the far corner and give Poole a glimmer of a comeback.
The goal certainly bolstered Poole who went on to dominate the remaining time.
Despite keeping Frome penned in their box for the remaining twenty minutes, Poole could not find an equaliser and exit the FA Trophy.
Poole: Childs, Rose (Jackson H-t), Wright, Spetch, Genesini, Moore, Carmichael, Wickham (Bedford 71′), Burbidge, Holmes, Fletcher
Frome: Carey, Witcombe, O’Laughlin (Lenihan 42′), Teale (C), Mapstone, Peck, Davies, Rigg, Simpson, Mannings (Thayer 90′), Monk (Hallett 66′)
Subs: Greaves (g/k), Schwalbe, Goodwin, Maidment