ROCESTER Wasps came from a goal down to book a spot in the semi-final of the BJFL under-11 Knockout Cup after beating holders and league leaders TS Hammers for the very first time.
In only the second minute Wasps conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area.
The ball was lifted over the wall and bobbled just in front of keeper Jenson Bosworth, who was unable to collect and a Hammers player knocked the ball in from close range.
Wasps refused to buckle and changed formation, pushing an extra man up front.
The match became a midfield scrap with both teams battling for supremacy.
Ethan Archer, Ben Simon, Matthew Flanagan and Henry Wallace all worked extremely hard to keep a potent TS midfield at bay.
Rocester looked dangerous on the break with their pacey forwards. In the sixth minute Matthew Flanagan found Charlie Cope. The striker broke free down the right and his shot was well saved by the Hammers keeper, but Kieran Swinson was on hand to convert the rebound.
Hammers pushed on, but were unable to get past a strong Wasps defence of Magnus Brown and George Walker – who were helped by holding midfielder Ben Simon.
In the 19th minute Rocester took the lead when Kieran Swinson found Cope, who showed the TS defence a clean pair of heels and shot past the onrushing keeper.
The remainder of the half saw TS huff and puff, but the holders were unable to break through the superb Rocester defence.
At the other end Swinson was unlucky not to double Wasps’ advantage.
The second period began with Hammers even more dominant, but Rocester defended brilliantly with Ethan Archer and Ben Simon stifling the talented TS midfield.
Midway through the half Rocester again hit Hammers on the break. Cope broke down the right but his inviting cross just evaded a stretching Swinson.
The bulk of the game in the final 10 minutes was played in the Rocester half. And with seven minutes remaining TS created their best opportunity.
The ball was played though to their star striker, but Bosworth was out quickly before George Walker deflected the goal-bound shot into the keeper’s hands as Wasps held on for victory.
The semi-final, on April 5, pits Wasps against Hatton Sports.