A LATE strike from substitute Tom Cooper-Richards provided Rocester with a hard-earned point from their visit to Tipton Town on Saturday.
Cooper-Richards capitalised in the 78th minute when the home defence pushed out looking for offside, and after timing his run perfectly he stole in to meet Carl Allen’s chip with a looping header over goalkeeper James Pemberton.
It was tough on the Black Country outfit after they had been on top, but at the same time it was just reward for a battling young Rocester side who are beginning to show a defensive resilience.
An uneventful opening period came to life midway through when Colby McAdams swung a corner into the area and Brad Grice met it with a solid header which was superbly tipped over the bar by Pemberton.
However, just as Rocester were starting to make some headway their defensive frailties let them down again after a quickly taken short corner was pumped into the area where Joe Rogers, one of three former Romans players in the Tipton starting XI, arrived unchallenged to head home from six yards.
The goal knocked Rocester back and they were fortunate to survive just a few minutes later when Rogers found space again, only for goalkeeper Wayne Smith to hold his goalbound header.
Their next attack ended with another ex-Roman, Mensah Kinch, closing in on goal, but he could only clip the ball wide.
Manager Mark Kavanagh had opted to give Smith his debut in goal of club stalwart Richard Froggatt, and the keeper took his opportunity well with two more notable saves before the break.
Aaron Cole replaced Simeon Lawrence at half-time and 10 minutes into the second half Cooper-Richards was also introduced to replace Aaron Dillon up front, and his ability to hold onto the ball provided the Romans with more of a threat going forward.
Once Cooper-Richards had come up with the equaliser, Rocester briefly looked as though they might even sneak the win, but a couple of opportunities went begging when McAdams could not squeeze his shot past Pemberton and Cooper-Richards unluckily kneed an effort wide.
But for much of the last 10 and four extra minutes of stoppage time Rocester had to hold out stubbornly.
GOALS: Rogers 28 (Tipton). Cooper-Richards 78 (Romans).
TIPTON: Pemberton, Rogers, R Perks (Bood 82), Tilt, Henley, M Perks, Ashton, Wherton, Kinch, Nisbett, Rabone. Subs not used: Nicholls, Martin, Yousif, Crudgington.
ROMANS: Smith, Beardsley, Littler, Grice, Allen, Daley (Taylor 68), Lawrence (Cole 46), Johnson, Riddell, Dillon (Cooper-Richards 56), McAdams. Subs not used: Spencer, Froggatt.
REFEREE: C Readett (Wolver-hampton).