10:41 Tuesday 11 February 2014


Written byTOM SLOAN

14/12/13 Rocester v Dunkirk - Uttoxeter, RocesterRocester FC V Dunkirk - Manager 14/12/13 Rocester v Dunkirk - Uttoxeter, RocesterRocester FC V Dunkirk - Manager

ROCESTER boss Dave Shaw says a win for his side against fellow strugglers Continental Star tonight will go a long way towards helping the Romans to Midland Alliance survival this season.

Shaw’s hard-working young side visit the Birmingham outfit, kick-off 7.45pm, in a relegation six-pointer.

Should the game go ahead amid difficult conditions and Rocester win, they will open up a seven-point gap on the bottom two.

“It’s a massive game,” said Shaw. “If we won it’d be a massive step towards where we want to be.

“It would give us a bit of breathing space over the teams beneath us.

“But we’re taking nothing for granted and know it’ll be a very difficult match against a side who are fighting for their lives.”

The Romans went into Saturday’s game unbeaten in three matches but lost 3-0 against Loughborough University, one of the better sides in the Alliance despite their mid-table standing.

“They play in a completely different way to everyone else in this league and the league above,” said Shaw.

“They keep the ball all the time and they play with two wide men who both hug the lines.

“Then they have three players who rotate between midfield and up front, so they’re very difficult to mark.

“They also train most days a week and have lads dual registered with teams in Conference North, so it was always going to be a difficult one.”

Shaw himself even got a run-out at Loughborough – but it proved an uncomfortable 10 minutes for the veteran striker.

“I came on with about 10 minutes left and pulled my calf after five and had to play with that,” he said. “I keep myself fit being a postman, but haven’t been doing any running recently.

“Thankfully, I’ve got some players signed on now so I won’t have to go on again!”

Shaw has signed midfielder George Barlow and has Tom Brown back from work commitments in time for tonight’s game. Brent Upton is still out injured.

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