Staffordshire FA Senior Cup
Heath Hayes 2 Rocester 0
ROCESTER exited the Staffordshire Senior Cup after a lacklustre performance against Heath Hayes on Tuesday evening.
The Romans could find no response to a brace of goals from Lee Smith - despite the dismissal of Hayes keeper Adam Lane midway through the second half. The game was played at a frantic pace, and it was Rocester’s Jack Langston who was first to show. Langston did well to win the and find Chris Sterling inside the area only for the Rocester forwards to get crowded out.
Richard Froggatt was soon called into action. The Romans stoppers denied Lee Smith after the Heath Hayes midfielder met a long throw into the box. And seconds later the Frogatt produced a diving save to tip away Tom Green’s strike.
The hosts were putting Rocester under the cosh and Chris Deakin skipped through the Romans defence only to fire shy of the top corner. The dominant Hayes opened the scoring on 26 minutes after Wayne Johnson conceded a penalty for a foul on Smith inside the Rocester area. And Smith then sent Froggatt the wrong way with a cool spot kick.
The goal sparked something of a revival from Rocester who almost found an immediate reply when Sterling smashed an effort against the underside of the crossbar But that goal attempt proved to be Rocester’s most notable and it continued to be the hosts who looked the most threatening. It took another low save from Froggatt to deny Deakin after the Heath Hayes winger received the ball in space on the left before bearing down on goal.
Rocester began the second half brighter than they had done the first and Lane was called upon to save from both Sterling and Edwin Ahenkorah. And the Romans were thrown something of a lifeline when the Hayes keeper was dismissed for handling the ball outside his area. Deakin briefly took over in goal before Ben Maddox was bought on to assume keeping duties. Both had a trouble-free time - the only exception arriving when Joe Rogers' long range effort forced Maddox to palm the ball clear of the top corner.
By that stage the hosts had already gone two up when Smith unleashed a powerful low shot from distance that left Froggatt with no chance. Rocester squandered the chance to test the makeshift keeper on two occasions when free-kicks - firstly by Ahenkorah and then Chris McComisky - failed to clear the defensive wall as Hayes steadfastly refused to surrender their clean sheet.
It then took an excellent recovery tackle from McComisky late on to prevent Kieran Northwood as Rocester went out of the cup they won in the 2007/08 season with a whimper rather than a bang.
Rocester are back in league action tomorrow at home to Tipton Town. Kick-off is 3pm.
Heath Hayes: Lane, Grice, Littler, Smith, Baggott, Robinson, Hancox (Wallis 90+4), Simpson, Green (Northwood 89), Wapple, Deakin (Maddox 74), Not Used: Wood, Dunlevy.
Romans: Froggatt, McLeod (McComisky 69), Rogers, Johnson, Pirrie (Bullock 77), Kinch, Langston, Perks (Holland 80), Sterling, Asante-Ahenkorah, Swain, Not Used: Allan, Grocott.