Buildbase F.A. Vase 1st Round
Rocester 8 Oakham United 1
Rampant Rocester hit the goal trail at Hillsfield on Saturday and completely crushed Oakham United 8-1 to reach the 2nd Round of the Buildbase F.A. Vase.
The United Counties League visitors had shocked the Romans by taking a fourth minute lead through Eddie McDonald’s unchallenged header, but they were quickly pegged back and brushed aside by a Rocester side full of intent.
Even before McDonald opened the scoring Rocester had wasted two good opportunities with Callum Riddell and then Karl Ashton unable to get a good connection in front of goal, however after trailing for just three minutes Darren Bullock got up to glance a neat header past Ricky Hailstone from Rob Ritchie-Smith’s free kick to level things up.
The defender was perhaps a little fortunate to receive just a yellow card for his misdemeanour, but it made no difference as Rocester opened up the visitors again a couple of minutes later, This time Martin Smyth’s long ball in from the right was met by Ashton ten yards out, who expertly sent a looping header over the helpless Hailstone for number three.
There was no let up for the Oakham defence who were relieved to see Callum Riddell’s 20-yard effort curl wide of the far left-hand post.
Riddell was in the thick of the action again ten minutes before the break when he set up Rocester’s fourth with a great cross-field pass to Ashton, who collected it in his stride and made no mistake with a powerful low shot.
Hailstone’s goal then had to weather another attack that saw Ritchie-Smith’s shot well-saved before Riddell couldn’t quite turn in the loose ball.
In a moment of respite Oakham narrowly missed out on reducing the deficit when Alex Brockbank did well on the left flank before delivering a teasing cross that was just out of McDonald’s reach at the far post.
A devastating spell that produced three goals inside ten minutes at the start of the second half left Oakham well and truly broken.
Ritchie-Smith finished with aplomb after being sent clear to make it 5-1, and skipper Smyth met a Riddell cross with a superbly placed shot for number six.
Oakham just didn’t have any answers as a seventh goal arrived following another through-ball, this time releasing Seb Szondi who easily aimed his shot past Hailstone.
Manager Danny Martin introduced substitutes Oli Roome and Liam Shaw to the fray, and with both strikers keen to impress there was still plenty to do for the Oakham rearguard.
However it was first half substitute Joe Brockley, an early replacement for the injured Sam Griffiths, who got his name on the scoresheet ten minutes from time.
Ritchie-Smith was upended twenty yards out on the left, and Brockley stepped up to strike a beauty of a free kick over the wall and into the top corner of Hailstone’s net.
Goals: Romans – Bullock (7), Ritchie-Smith (23 pen) (48), Ashton (26) (36), Smyth (51), Szondi (55), Brockley (79). Oakham – McDonald (4).
Romans: Froggatt; Frost; Chatfield; Griffiths (Brockley 18); Bullock; Simpson; Ritchie-Smith; Szondi (Roome 56); Ashton (Shaw 50); Smyth; Riddell. Subs not used: Allen.
Oakham: Hailstone; Easson; Young (Sayers 64); Cox (Sharpe 50); Cooke; Pearce; Lambie; Rothery; Nelson; McDonald; Brockbank. Subs not used: North; Kefford; Hollingworth.
Referee: Mr. M. Groves (Birmingham).