Ten-man Frome Town earn FA Trophy replay with Poole
MATCH REPORT: Frome Town 1 (Agbo 45+2) Poole Town 1 (Devlin pen 79)
Frome Town will travel to Poole Town for an FA Trophy first-round replay on Tuesday night (7.45pm) after Brian O’Donnell’s first game in charge of the Robins ended all-square.
Rhys Baggridge saw red for the hosts for conceding the first of two Poole penalties, with the second -11 minutes from time keeping the visitors in the competition.
Poole had already won 3-1 at the AlderSmith Stadium in the Calor League Premier this term and twice went close to taking the lead, with Martin and Carl Preston narrowly off-target.
The 35th minute provided another scare for Frome as keeper Darren Chitty required attention after bravely diving at a Poole forward’s feet.
Aaron Ledgister was then denied by a strong block challenge from Sam Clarke as he looked to fashion a shooting chance at the other end.
A period of torrential rain just before the break made conditions difficult and Frome went ahead in the second minute of stoppage time after Poole pushed men forward for a corner. Baggridge broke clear and exchanged passes with Ben Wood before crossing for Will Agbo to score with a slightly mis-hit shot from ten yards.
Poole had more possession and territory after the restart and were a little unlucky in the 54th minute when a deflected shot spun up and onto the Frome bar before being cleared for a corner.
Four minutes later came the tie’s key incident as Baggridge was shown a red card for a last-man challenge that seemed to be outside of the area, but resulted in a penalty. Chitty ensured justice was done when he brilliantly saved from Steve Devlin to maintain Frome’s slender lead.
Despite Poole’s territorial and numerical dominance, Frome had the odd chance to score. Ledgister’s free-kick spun wickedly up in the air, allowing Matt Cowler to attempt an acrobatic shot that flew over the bar.
Ledgister produced a moment of magic five minutes later as he controlled a pass that seemed to be going past him, flicked the ball over a defender and produced a thunderous dipping volley from 35 yards that Nick Hutchings just managed to push onto the cross bar and over for a corner.
However, the Poole pressure was now relentless and resulted in an equaliser when right-back Simon MIllard fouled a winger as he accelerated into the box and this time Devlin made no mistake from the spot, firing the ball low to Chitty’s left corner.
As Poole went for the jugular, Chitty produced two close-range saves in the 88th minute that almost defied belief and was on hand again to dive to his left and push a fiercely-struck free-kick away deep in stoppage time to ensure that Frome lived to fight another day.
Wood made it four H&B Tyres man of the match awards in a row following another tireless performance.
The winners of Tuesday night's replay will travel to Arlesey Town in the second qualifying round on November 2.