FROME Town will welcome football royalty to Badgers Hill next week as their 90-day Football Pools challenge hits the halfway point.

Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish and former England striker Trevor Francis, the country’s first £1,000,000 player, are dropping in on Frome next Wednesday to check in on the ground improvements financed by the £50,000 windfall the Robins received from the Football Pools in last December.

Meanwhile, Frome manager Darren Perrin was delighted to welcome striker Ricky Hulbert back to the club this week.

The 26-year-old left the Robins to join Cantebury United in New Zealand in March last year but arrived back in the UK at 4am on Thursday morning and will be back with Perrin’s men for their trip to St Neots Town tomorrow.

“We’re all really happy to have Ricky back,” said the Frome boss.

“He’s had his time out in New Zealand but I’d spoke to him a lot via social networks and I think he missed his family and friends a lot.

“He’s a fantastic lad on and off the pitch and he knows the club well.”

On Wednesday evening, a late goal from Mark Cooper saw Frome progress to within one game of the Red Insure Cup final.

Peter Castle put visitors Sholing ahead at Badgers Hill but Mike Perrott’s second half header levelled the scores.

Barry Mason’s free-kick restored the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West outfit’s lead but substitute Dave Gilroy made an instant impact for Frome midway through the half as he equalised within a minute of coming off the bench.

And then in the dying moments of normal time, Cooper pounced to set up a semi-final meeting with Leamington, Arlesey Town, Slough Town or Northwood.

“It was an end-to-end cup tie but their first goal was a complete fluke and we thoroughly deserved to win,” said Perrin.

“I think that netted £750 prize money for the club, which helps a lot, and we’re now just one game from the final.

“We’ve got a lot of fixtures coming up but the side are high on confidence and we’ve only lost once in 2013 - and that was to Leamington, who are eight points clear at the top of the table.”

Last weekend, the Robins picked up a point in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division as they played out a goalless stalemate with Banbury United.

Perrin is hoping that midfielder Matt Smith and defender Tom Evans will be fit for tomorrow’s game at Cambridgeshire outfit St Neots after picking up knocks in Wednesday’s cup triumph.