DARREN Bullock was so anxious before Rocester’s weekend FA Vase triumph that boss Dave Langston had to take emergency action — and ordered him to down a pint.
The 24-year-old was bunged a fiver and sent to the bar before the 3-1 win at Shepshed Dynamo and ended up playing a blinder.
“Darren was in a hell of a state,” said Romans boss Langston. “He pulled his hat off and said ‘gaffer, I just can’t play today — everything I’ve done this morning has gone wrong’.
“That included his new shaved head! So I told him to get a pint down him.
“He looked at me like he couldn’t quite believe it — so I told him I wasn’t going to tell him twice.
“The people in the bar looked at him and said ‘aren’t you playing’? He said he was and told them his manager had sent him in! “He calmed down and played well, he played very well in the end.”
Langston himself was once ordered to have a pint during his playing days, with current Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade dishing out the order while he was in charge of Armitage in 1995/96.
“Russell Slade once did that when I was a player,” he said.
Rocester, meanwhile, have been drawn at home to either Long Eaton United or Southam United in the last 64 of the Vase.
Long Eaton play in the Northern Counties East Premier Division — the same level as the Romans — while Southam United are in the Midland Combination Premier Division, a level below Rocester.
“It’s a home draw, which is the main thing,” said Langston, who was going to watch the sides replay at Long Eaton last night. “Southam have got a striker who’s paid £100 a week and they smash it long to him.
“Long Eaton are managed by an old Rocester player (Mick Galloway) and (first-team coach) Rich Owen knows a bit about them.
“It’s a good tie for us.”
Langston now hopes Saturday’s win — which came courtesy of goals from Chris Sterling (2) and Joe Rogers — can act as a springboard for an improvement in the Midland Alliance.
“That’s exactly what I said to the lads,” said the Romans boss. “Their approach to the match was excellent and now we need to improve in the league.
“We’ve drawn three games on the bounce and I want us to turn those draws into wins so we can climb back up the table.”
Rocester host Kirby Muxloe on Saturday and then visit Coventry Sphinx on Monday.