Rocester continued their recent habit of scoring late goals to clinch another three points against lowly Highgate United at Hillsfield on Saturday.
The Romans had plenty of opportunities to seize control of the game but it took them until the 74th minute to break Highgate’s resistance through a Jack Langston penalty, before leading marksman Edwin Ahenkorah made the game safe a minute from time.
On a heavy pitch, Rocester made a lively start and they should have punished their opponents 10 minutes in when Carl Allen’s excellent pass from the centre circle allowed Ahenkorah to beat the offside trap and dart into the area.
His low cross towards the far left post was perfect for Darren Leonard to run on to, but his shot from six yards was very well saved by the legs of goalkeeper Shaun Edwards.
From the resulting corner, Ahenkorah again threatened as he wormed his way into the area before seeing his shot headed away from goal by Andy Fraher, and Mensah Kinch could only nod the loose ball directly to Edwards.
Joe Rogers was getting into some good positions on the right as Rocester continued to press, however his regular supply of crosses failed to produce any openings.
Despite their overall control, the Romans were not at their best defensively, and were let off the hook more than once around the half-hour mark when some sloppy defending presented Highgate with a couple of gilt-edged chances.
Richard Froggatt made two excellent saves to deny Jake Brown, with some assistance from Darren Bullock, who was on the line to clear one of them away, and Karl King wasted another opening by blasting his shot high over the bar.
Romans boss Dave Langston had some strong words for his team at half time, but they still found it hard going against the resilient visitors, who continued to give as good as they got.
New signing Kieran Mortiboys, who was drafted in from Chasetown during the week, had a great chance to mark his debut with a goal when Ahenkorah’s pass left him in the clear, but although the youngster took his time, he opened up his body too much and clipped his shot high and wide.
Soon afterwards Rocester got the break they needed when Toby Checketts mistimed his tackle on Kinch as he burst into the area and Langston stepped up to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
With their noses in front, the Romans began to play some better football, and their lead was almost extended when Dean Bromley floated the ball in from the left to Rogers, whose looping header was helped over the bar by Edwards.
Checketts did well to divert an effort from Bromley over his own bar before Leonard slipped the ball through for Ahenkorah to net number two in the closing moments.