ROCESTER’S heavy defeat at the hands of Causeway United on Saturday saw the end of Mark Kavanagh’s six-month reign as manager.
Kavanagh has been under increasing pressure following a series of poor results which have seen his team slip into the Midland Alliance relegation zone.
And time was finally called on his tenure after a miserable collapse against Causeway.
A club statement said: “During his six-month tenure Kav has never given anything less than 100 per cent in his attempt to rebuild the team following a mass exodus of players at the end of last season, and we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to him for all the hard work and commitment that he has put into the job since his appointment.
“Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out as we’d hoped, and although we were always prepared to be patient and allow sufficient time for a competitive team to emerge, it has become increasingly clear that a change of direction was needed.”
Assistant manager Anthony Jones has now agreed to take over team affairs on an interim basis starting with Saturday’s crucial home fixture against Loughborough University.
Rocester actually started the game against Causeway quite well.
Debutant midfielder Tom Ellerton, signed from Stapenhill, gave them the perfect platform when he collected Dale Lynch’s sixth minute cross before coolly picking his spot from 10 yards to open the scoring.
Both teams were looking to press forward but it was Rocester again who carved out the next real chance.
Lynch found himself in a great position with just goalkeeper Tom Turner to beat, but his shot flew wide of the left upright.
It proved a costly miss as within five minutes Causeway drew level with a well-executed chip from just outside the area by Danny Priest – the ball dipping under the crossbar out of Richard Froggatt’s reach.
An ankle injury to promising youngster Ryan Rutland-Jones held up play for more than 10 minutes before he was stretchered off and taken to hospital, but once play restarted the game turned very quickly in Causeway’s favour.
Will Tibbetts provided another excellent finish from the right, firing a great shot inside the far post.
On the stroke of half-time, Arron Lloyd netted a third for the visitors from a very debatable penalty, awarded when Tibbetts went down easily inside the area.
Those two quick-fire goals were followed by two more straight after the restart.
Priest added the first before Lloyd produced another good finish from the edge of the area.
The shell-shocked Romans were staring down the barrel of a big defeat, and but for a number of superb saves by Froggatt the visitors might well have embarrassed their hosts even more.
During the closing stages Rocester did at least threaten to reduce the deficit.
Turner dived to push Aaron Dillon’s powerful shot away for a corner before making an equally good save at the death to deny skipper Carl Allen a rare entry on the scoresheet.
GOALS: Ellerton 6 (Romans); Priest 27, 51, Tibbetts 35, Lloyd 44 pen, 47 (Causeway).
ROMANS: Froggatt, Beardsley, Allen, Whalley (Daley 73), Wain, Upton, Lynch, Ellerton, Lawrence, Dillon, Rutland-Jones (Dunlevy 30). Subs not used: Johnson, Littler, Cannon.
CAUSEWAY: Turner, Evans, Cowley, Scarr, Charles, Beasley (Thomas-Robinson 80), Pearlman, Priest (Blake-Walker 70), Lloyd, Tibbetts, Rock (Machangani 70). Subs not used: Gardner, Shilvock.
YELLOW CARDS: Romans – Daley.
REFEREE: D Parkes (Stoke).