ROCESTER boss Dave Langston has warned his players they will crash out of the FA Vase if they put in a repeat of their last performance.
The Romans face their biggest game in more than a quarter of a century when Runcorn Town come to Hillsfield on Saturday.
A place in the last 16 of the Vase is at stake — and it is the furthest the club has been in the competition since Alan Beaman’s side of 1986/87 beat mighty Halesowen Town at the same stage.
But Langston has warned his young side they will not follow in the footsteps of Beaman’s men if they do not pull their socks up.
“We need everyone to perform or we’ll be in real trouble,” said the Romans boss.
“We had four of them off it at Gornall and it cost us the game.
“We need all of them to be on it — I was fuming after Saturday.” Rocester sank 3-2 at Gornall Athletic to lose their unbeaten away record in the Midland Alliance.
The Romans are the only team to have beaten Gornall this season, 5-1 at Hillsfield on the opening day.
What made their defeat in the Black County even harder to take was the quality of their performance.
“Saturday was hugely disappointing,” said the Rocester chief. “We were the better team by far so it was hard to take losing the game and our away record.
“There were some very good performances, particularly from Edwin Ahenkorah and Chris Sterling.
“But two awful mistakes from Joe Rogers cost us two goals and it was surprising because he’s been one of our most consistent performers this season.
“And Ryan Pirrie, Jack (Langston) and Dean Bromley were awful in midfield.
“They didn’t function and need to show some consistency.
“At half-time we were convinced we’d win it because we were better.
“I’m gutted and we’ll have to improve against Runcorn.” Now, Langston is agonising over his team to face North West Counties League Premier Division title hopefuls Runcorn, who are on an 11-game unbeaten run.
“I’ve got to decide whether to go 4-5-1 or 3-5-2,” said the Romans boss. “It’s a difficult decision to make.”
Centre-halves Wayne Johnson and Darren Bullock, as well as winger Mensah Kinch and striker Darren Leonard, have flu. Bullock is most likely to start to give Rocester height at the back.