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Rocester 2, Stapenhill 2: Match report

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

FINE SAVES ... Ben Gough.

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ROCESTER and Stapenhill played out an entertaining draw in a highly-competitive pre-season match at Hillsfield.

Twice the visitors went ahead, and twice the hosts were able to find a quick response as the game ended all-square.

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Last season's East Midlands Counties League runners-up Stapenhill made a lightning start.

Inside the first minute, Rocester keeper Richard Froggatt made a low stop to deny Jordan Stevens, while Karl Wayte pulled a shot wide of the target on five minutes.

Stapenhill's Harry Austin spread the ball out to Asa Sippitts but the wideman's cross was not met, while Stevens blasted a chance wide after being fed by Lui Campbell.

Having weathered this early storm, the hosts began to find their feet and Austin was called upon to scramble clear a dangerous cross from Dan Brown, while Craig Hill won the ball in the middle of the park to spark a good move which ended with Jordan White curling his effort wide.

Froggatt needed two bites to claim Austin's corner, while at the other end Swans keeper Ben Gough did well to claim a high ball under pressure from Nick Ward.

Gough was to have a busy spell during the middle of the first half and was almost caught out when Jordan White slipped a through ball to Dan Brown but got there in the nick of time to deny the striker.

The Swans keeper then made an excellent double save to deny White and then Brown.

A misplaced header from Jason Beardsley was pounced up by Stapenhill's Campbell on 27 minutes, but the striker fired wide.

However, the visitors were ahead a minute later when Campbell fed Wayte, who held the ball up well before squaring for Sippitts to apply the finish.

The lead lasted five minutes, when Rocester's Allwyn Thompson cut inside and sent a perfectly-placed finish home at the foot of the near post.

Danny Gilligan flashed an effort across goal as the Swans tried to immediately restore their lead, but it was Rocester who ended the half brightest.

Gough did well to claim the ball off Brown as the striker stretched to meet Ward's cross, while in an uncharacteristic error the Swans keeper handled Thompson's through-ball outside his own area, but his blushes were spared when the Romans squandered the free-kick.

Gough was called into action immediately after the break when he made a low stop to deny Dan Brown, while his opposite number Froggatt made a full-stretch dive to palm away Paul Furniss' long-range strike, and then took two bites at claiming Austin's shot after it had taken a deflection off Ward.

In keeping with the end-to-end nature of the game, Gough made a reaction stop to tip a shot from Thompson against the bar after the Rocester man had turned and fired from close range, while the Swans keeper remained alert to race out and deny Liam Shaw shortly afterwards.

Stapenhill went in front once more on 72 minutes. Tom M Brown blocked Jamie Disney's initial shot, but Sam Taylor was lurking on the edge of the box to fire home the follow-up.

Again, the lead was short-lived, and two minutes later a thunderous strike from Dan Brown cannoned in via the angle of the goal.

Jono Atherton flashed a left-foot effort wide for Rocester immediately after the restart as the Romans looked to take the lead for the first time, but at the other end Gilligan should have found the target from close range after receiving the ball back from Taylor.

The Swans survived a late scare when Atherton found Tom C Brown unmarked at the far post but the Rocester substitute headed over the bar.

ROMANS: Froggatt, Tom M Brown, Beardsley, Upton, Allen, Hill, Riddell, White, Ward, D Brown, Thompson, Sub Used: Shaw, Tom C Brown, Bromley, Atherton.

SWANS: Gough, Austin, Davies, Gilligan, Perry, Wayte, Sippitts, Furniss, Dennahy, Campbell, Stevens, Subs Used: Walkman, Disney, Carvell, Blades, Taylor.

REFEREE: J Warren (Stafford).

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