TWO late goals ended Rocester’s hopes of extending their unbeaten Midland Alliance sequence to four games – but they can have no complaints at the outcome.
The Romans’ bright start to the game showed promise but their performance quickly petered out into a lacklustre display
Individually, the Romans worked hard in most areas, yet once their initial spark left them they offered little cutting edge.
In a tight game it was the visitors who always looked the likeliest to open something up.
Things could have been different had the Romans enjoyed a little more luck early in the game.
In the seventh minute a high centre from the right by Tom Cooper-Richards was met with a volley from Errol Johnson, but Liam Maher in the Alvechurch goal made a fine save, spectacularly palming the ball over.
Five minutes later it was the visitors who threatened when a ball into the box bounced kindly for Joe Holtham. But with only Wayne Smith to beat his shot swerved away.
With both teams beginning to find some rhythm the Romans were again unfortunate when a good build-up ended with Aaron Cole’s shot from the edge of the area drifting wide, and soon afterwards Cooper-Richards’ curling cross was heading in before Maher made another excellent save
Disappointingly, with only a quarter of the game gone that was Rocester’s last serious assault on goal, and they probably would have been put to the sword before the break had the visitors not wasted a couple of clear-cut chances.
Holtham was the man causing problems again in the 25th minute when his pace took him clear into the area and, although this time his angled shot was on target, Smith dived full length to his left to make a stunning save before Carl Allen cleared.
Rocester escaped again soon afterwards when Omari Sterling-James beat Smith in a race for the ball wide on their left, but his angled shot towards an empty net was cleared off the line by John Littler.
The Romans threatened briefly just after the half-hour mark when Aaron Cole fired over the bar.
For much of the second period a goalless draw looked inevitable as both sides made little headway.
However, seven minutes from time Alvechurch’s man-of-the-match Max Loveridge created enough space on the left to drill a low shot in and Jamie Spencer ghosted in to steer it inside the post.
Any hopes of a late comeback were thwarted less than two minutes later when substitute Ross Dempster netted a second for the visitors, firing a low first-time shot past Smith.GOALS: Spencer 83, Dempster 85 (Church).
ROMANS: W Smith, Beardsley, Littler, Grice, Allen, Daley (Brain 58), Cole, Taylor, Dillon, Cooper-Richards, Thompson (L Spencer 84). Subs not used: Lawrence.
CHURCH: Maher, L Wright, Triana, Loveridge, S Smith, Clarke, Holtham, Calkeld, J Wright, J Spencer, Sterling-James. Subs not used: None.
YELLOW CARDS: Brain (Romans).
REFEREE: M Randles (Stafford).