Matt King on the ballSaturday 25th February 2017


Midland Football League Premier Division


Stourport Swifts 3 Rocester 2


Rocester travelled to Stourport Swifts on Saturday with a heavily depleted squad and suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat - their first loss in seven games.


Their cause was not helped by a number of refereeing decisions that went against them during the afternoon, which eventually led to Manager Danny Martin losing his cool midway through the second period and being ordered from his dug-out for comments made to the match official after the home side missed a penalty.


Sam Bates takes on a trio of Stourport defendersMartinís frustrations began as early as the third minute when Oli Roome appeared to be tripped just inside the home area, however no penalty was given and within second the Swifts cleared the ball upfield and took the lead with a good finish from Andy Hudson.


Shortly afterwards Roome and a defender collided with each other going for the ball and the striker went to ground. In fairness a penalty would have been a harsh decision, but with clear contact between the players the yellow card shown to Roome for simulation bamboozled most onlookers.


Having controlled most of the opening 15 minutes the Romans suddenly found themselves further adrift when the Swifts scored their second goal on the break, this time Joe Phillips arrived at the far post to ram home a long cross from the right hand side.


Callum Riddell fired Rocester back into the game ten minutes later with a fierce low drive from 18 yards, and after Joe Brockley had sent a free kick over the bar the Romans were almost level right on half time when Ashleigh Lynchís near post header was scrambled off the line after a succession of corners.


Oli Roome wins this headerLynch had to be replaced during the interval by lone substitute Chris Martin, and with skipper Martin Smyth dropping back into defence the Romans lost their edge in the middle of the park.


Chances did fall to Roome who shot straight at goalkeeper Dom Richards and Martin who fired wide after a surging run, but it was the home side now enjoying the run of play and Rocester had to thank their own stopper Richard Froggatt for a couple of decent saves to keep his side in contention.


Rocester again felt they received the thin end of the wedge when referee James Cox awarded Stourport a 69th minute penalty after Smyth went up for a header with Phillips. There didnít seem much wrong with the challenge but Cox pointed to the spot and waved away the protests, only for Dan Sweeney to blast the spot kick wide.


However it seemed all over seven minutes later when a driven cross from Stourportís right was lashed home by Sam Beasley, who sneaked in at the back post unmarked.


Full-back James Frost scored his first goal for the club four minutes from time with another far post finish following a corner, but it came too late for Rocester who didnít really get close to finding a late saver despite five minutes of stoppage time.


Romans: Froggatt; Frost; Nutt; Brockley; Allen; Lynch (C.Martin 46); Roome; King; Riddell; Smyth; Bates.