Midland Football League Premier Division
Rocester 2 Westfields 4
Defensive errors cost Rocester valuable points on Saturday as visiting Westfields twice came from behind to record a 4-2 win at Hillsfield.
The Romans, who now sit just four points above the relegation places, only had themselves to blame after missing a number of chances before their opponents capitalised on mistakes to bag three second-half goals.
It all started well enough for Rocester with two early chances coming their way to make a breakthrough. Following a poor clearance Joe Brockley’s piledriver was well held by goalkeeper Matt Gwynne, and the stopper then had to be alert to just beat Oli Roome to Callum Riddell’s through pass.
Aidan Thomas fired over for Westfields after Richard Greaves broke down the left, but Rocester were still making the running and Riddell was not far away with a glancing header from a Brockley corner.
Their reward came in the 16th minute from another Brockley set-piece, this time a free kick delivered into the mix from the right was neatly headed past Gwynne by Ashleigh Lynch.
Westfields responded with a good spell of pressure that saw Ben Hayes denied by a timely tackle from Carl Allen and Chris Ham testing Richard Froggatt with a low shot that was turned away for a corner.
Gwynne prevented Martin Smyth from increasing Rocester’s lead with a smart save at the foot of his post, and shortly afterwards Westfields were level when, following a poor pass out of defence, Hayes provided a neat finish after a quick interchange with Ham.
The Romans were still looking good though, and Lynch sent Roome clear with a great pass. The young striker got to it before Gwynne and lobbed the ball goalwards only for a defender to clear it off the line.
Deservedly Rocester got back in front ten minutes before the break. Riddell was instrumental on the left with a super run under pressure, and when he pulled the ball back into the path of Tom Brown the midfielder smashed it superbly into the net from 15 yards.
It wasn’t Roome’s day however, as he just failed to take two great chances that came his way before the break. The normally clinical striker broke clear from Froggatt’s big clearance, but under pressure from a defender his early shot was well-saved by the legs of Gwynne, and when Smyth’s clever feet sent Roome away again he was denied by another goal line clearance after dinking the ball past the keeper.
Rocester deserved more than their 2-1 lead at the half way stage, but it went wrong during the second period as Westfields began to assert themselves.
Richard Greaves equalised on the hour following another poor clearance out of defence, and when the ball was needlessly given away in the 74th they took the lead with Aidan Thomas applying an excellent finish.
Five minutes later it was all over as the fading Romans were punished again. A short back-pass left Froggatt exposed and nippy substitute Kingsford Adjei was able to walk the ball into the net.
Referee: Mr. B. Stott (Uttoxeter).
Top Right - Callum Riddell
Above Right - New signing Scott Wesson
Left - Ashleigh Lynch (far right) heads Rocester's opening goal