ROCESTER’S eight-game unbeaten run in the Midland Football Alliance came to an end at Dunkirk on Tuesday night.
The Romans began brightly enough and applied considerable pressure in the early stages, so were disappointed when Tom Maddison sent a dangerous ball across goal for Bradley Wells to slide in at the far post and put Dunkirk ahead on five minutes.
Rocester responded almost immediately, when Dean Bromley picked out Joe Rogers with a free kick, which the fullback headed home.
Ashley Bennett then cut inside and forced Dunkirk keeper James Mountain into conceding a corner, from which Darren Bullock headed over.
Edwin Ahenkorah was being frustrated by Danny Brenan, with the towering defender denying him on more than one occasion before being booked for a lunge.
Bullock sent a powerful strike sailing over the bar, but the tide was turning in favour of the hosts, helped when a foul on Wayne Johnson saw the Rocester centre-half limp off.
Richard Froggatt was forced to tip over a couple of efforts as Dunkirk cranked up the pressure, and made an excellent save from Maddison’s powerful free-kick just before the break.
The Dunkirk man had been lucky to be on the pitch to take the kick, as immediately before the referee had missed his headbutt on Jacob Sturgess when the two players had an altercation.
Dunkirk remained in the ascendancy after the interval, although it took an excellent intervention from Brenan to again deny Ahenkorah.
Froggatt was much the busier keeper in the second period, and palmed away a dangerous strike by Ryan Ejezie.
Bennett’s cross into the box was mopped up and Bullock’s stinging free-kick warmed Mountain’s hands.
Froggatt held a low shot from Will Coutts and when the keeper could not hold Richard Whyman’s thunderous effort Dan McLeod was on hand to clear.
But when Macauley Diuk was given time to turn on the edge of the box and smashed the ball into the bottom corner there was little the Romans’ keeper could do.
Froggatt then prevented Maddison from extending the lead, pushing his powerful strike around the post.
The Romans were exhausted, but Rogers remained lively by pushing forward, beating two defenders late on and getting in a cross, which was again cleared.