2023_24 Season Match Report 08

Date Saturday 26th August 2023

Competition Staffs County Senior League Premier Division

Venue Hillsfield, Rocester

Rocester FC v Ashbourne FC

Kick-off 2:00pm

Result Rocester FC 2-2 Ashbourne FC

 

Rocester and Ashbourne share the points in this hard-fought local derby...

 

Both teams were up for this one, however, Rocester created the first real opportunity within a couple of minutes of the start which culminated in a powerful shot from Scott Bew which unfortunately, sailed over the crossbar...

Ashbourne immediately responded and as they broke, they managed to beat the offside trap only to see their efforts neutralised by the Rocester defence.

Just two minutes later and it was Rocester who were once again pressing forward as the midfield played some nice football to supply Lewis McMurdo on the left.

Unfortunately, nothing came from his initial strike, however, the Romans continued to apply pressure and were rewarded in the eleventh minute when Luke Smith latched on to an excellent 'through ball' from Mo Al Amin and 'buried' the shot to make it 'one - nil' to the Romans!

 

Ashbourne didn't take this 'lying down' and there ensued an extended period of 'end to end' play as the teams took it in turn to attack, only to see their efforts thwarted as their opponents countered...

 

However, around seventeen minutes into the match, the Ashbourne attack completely overwhelmed the Romans' defence as they quickly advanced into the 18-yard box in numbers, and although the Rocester supporters were convinced that there was more than a hint of 'offside', the flag 'stayed down' as Ashbourne forced the ball home to level the score...

 

Rocester countered straight from the restart and following a couple of minutes of prolonged pressure, as they forced Ashbourne to defend deep into their own half, Izaak Walsh fired off an absolute 'pile-driver' of a shot from the right to leave the Ashbourne 'keeper with no chance of saving as the Romans once again took the lead...

 

Unfortunately, just two minutes later, Rocester got 'caught in possession' - and not for the first time - they failed to clear the ball...

Ashbourne took possession and the Romans' defence failed to deal with the resulting 'through' ball as multiple Ashbourne forwards 'muscled' their way past the defenders and the centre forward buried his shot to level the score...

 

Once more, the Rocester supporters were convinced of an 'offside' infringement and once more, the flag 'stayed down'...

 

By now, Ashbourne were in the ascendancy and just four minutes later, they were on the attack as the Romans once more seemed to 'play themselves into trouble' at the back.

Following some frenetic action, which saw an Ashbourne shot heading goal-bound, fortunately for the Romans, central defender, Miles Johnson,

had already anticipated the obvious outcome of this move as he slid across the goal mouth to make an amazing clearance...

 

Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in the process and ultimately had to be substituted as a result.

 

Half-time Score: RFC 2-2 AFC

 

In the second half, following a couple of additional defensive substitutions, the Romans appeared to be more composed at the back and dealt more effectively with the Ashbourne attack.

 

Meanwhile, 'up front', Rocester continued to 'take it to the opposition', having more possession and playing some really attractive football - which led to the creation of some good goal-scoring opportunities...

At the same time, Ashbourne remained resolute in defence and showed a feisty determination to take something from this game and they too, never stopped trying...

 

Unfortunately, once or twice, it became a little too feisty and as a result, both teams were reduced to 'ten-men' following one particular altercation with some fifteen minutes still to play...

 

Once down to 'ten a side', the game 'opened up' somewhat, and both teams continued to put in a full shift, but try as they might, neither team could find the back of the net to secure those 'all important' three points.

 

 

Full-time Score: RFC 2-2 AFC

 

This match was played in the spirit of a 'local derby' with no shortage of 'full-blooded' exchanges at both ends and chances that certainly went 'a begging' - and plenty of attractive (and at times) entertaining football to boot!

 

And, as a Rocester supporter, it's great to see the team competing once again...