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03 Sep 2011 FACPQR Rocester 2-1 Halesowen Town PDF Print E-mail

FA Cup Preliminary Round – Saturday, 3rd September 2011

Rocester 2 Halesowen Town 1

Halesowen paid a hefty price for failing to capitalise on their dominance when Chris Sterling launched a smash and grab raid to hand Rocester a shock FA Cup victory.

The return of the Yeltz to FA Cup action after an enforced two-season break seemed to be a comfortable one and rarely can such early total dominance have turned to defeat at the end of a difficult week for the club. However, a catalogue of missed chances and an inspired, heroic performance from Rocester goalkeeper Richard Froggatt managed to keep Halesowen’s lead to just a single goal, when it should surely have been a much more comfortable margin.


 


 

Early on, Froggatt saved a couple of efforts from Anthony Bruce. Two corners followed in the 21st minute and Froggatt saved a curling effort when Lee Chilton turned his marker with Halesowen on top against their Midland Alliance hosts.

 

The Yeltz inevitably took a 28th minute lead when Naveed ARSHAD chased a long ball over the top and won his tussle with home skipper Chris McComisky to lob over Froggatt into an empty net. Justin Nisbett then skipped past two challenges to put himself free on goal but Froggatt made another good 32nd minute save. Seconds later, more superb work from Nisbett saw him dispossess the home defence and cross to Arshad, only for busy Froggatt to turn the ball over the bar.

Before the interval, dominant Halesowen enjoyed long spells of neat possession and Froggatt acrobatically tipped Bruce’s back header over the bar. With Halesowen coasting, the main question on Yeltz supporters’ lips at half-time was “How many more goals?” - yet those with long memories were sadly only destined to reinforce their painful FA Vase memories previously inflicted by Rocester way back in 1987.

At the start of the second period, Gavin Saunders picked out Chilton and although his shot beat Froggatt, McComisky was on hand to clear off the line. Froggatt then saved low down from Chilton’s shot from the left and did even better to deny Chilton again from Nisbett’s 58th minute cross.

But a seemingly comfortable victory unravelled when Halesowen’s defence was caught out after failing to clear and STERLING was allowed to turn and slam home a 71st minute equaliser from ten yards in the home side’s first attempt on target all afternoon. Mark Smith then headed at Froggatt and Nisbett drove wide for Halesowen whilst goalkeeper Paul Evans saved Craig Smith’s header at the other end.

Surprise turned to disbelief when STERLING sprung the visiting offside trap to run clear and hand Rocester the lead by clinically beating Evans in the 82nd minute. Stunned Halesowen poured forward in the remaining minutes and Froggatt, with the help of his defence, made an exceptional goal-line save to keep out Bruce in the 85th minute. In injury time, Arshad headed Nathaniel Caines free-kick over the bar and the battling Romans survived two further corners to spark home jubilation at the final whistle.

Rocester: Froggatt; Perks, Pugh, Rutter (Wain 54), McComisky (c), McLeod, Kinch, Langston, Sterling, C. Smith (Beeston 90), Owen. Unused Subs: Bullock, Green, Martin, Knight, Justin.

Halesowen Town: Evans; Mason (Jackson 85), Caines, M. Smith, Kelly, Bruce, Westwood (Gueyes 64), Saunders (c), Arshad, Nisbett, Chilton. Unused Subs: Roofe, Hinds, Coward, Godwin.

Referee: L. Jones (Hucknall) 

Attendance: 189

Booked: Bruce (12), Langston (66), Wain (90), Jackson (90+5)

 
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