DAVE Langston has again been left cursing his luck after his Rocester side exited the Midland Alliance League Cup on Tuesday evening.
The Romans slid out of the competition – their last chance for some silverware this season – with a 2-1 home defeat to Loughborough University.
Now, they must pick themselves up for the visit of table-topping Stratford Town to Hillsfield on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
“It’s the same old story,” said Langston, who led Rocester to their best FA Vase run in almost 30 years this season. “We’re playing some really good football at the minute.
“But when you’re top of the table, the little things just seem to go for you and when you’re down there, they don’t.”
A sending-off for manager’s son Jack Langston undid the Romans, much like the dismissal of Chris Sterling in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Tipton Town – with Langston’s men letting their lead slip when down to 10 men.
“I thought it was a red for Jack,” said Langston Snr. “But there were plenty there who disagreed.
“It was one of those that really divides people.
“He won the ball, but he went through the man as well and he squealed. Some days it’s a red and other days it’s a yellow.”
Carl Allen was also sent off after the full-time whistle on Tuesday for kicking a ball into the away dugout as Rocester’s misery was complete.
One bright spot to emerge from the night was the appearance of the outstanding Darren Alexander, who netted to give the Romans the lead.
He will start against Stratford tomorrow and, if available, could play a massive role in the run-in to the end of the season.
“Daz will be coming on Saturday and will start,” said Langston. “He loved playing on Tuesday night and said he can’t believe how good the side is.”
Alexander, a quality player, will be needed against Stratford as Langston seeks an improvement in form to help Rocester win their games in hand and climb the league table.
“We hope it’ll kick-start our season,” said the Romans boss. “We’re playing well but keep getting done by late goals and silly mistakes.
“We’ve gone to a 4-3-3 and teams are really struggling with it – Loughborough couldn’t cope for a while and they’re a really good side.”
Ryan Pirrie and Darren Leonard (both ankle) are out for up to a month.
The suspensions for Sterling, Langston and Allen have not yet commenced.
ROMANS FROM: Froggatt, Rogers, McLeod, Bullock, Allen, Kinch, J Langston, Swain, Sterling, Ahenkorah, Alexander, McComisky, Bromley, Grocott, Smith.