Published: 28/01/2013 12:22

Rocester boss Dave Langston prioritises FA Vase tie

Written byDOM MILLS

ROCESTER boss Dave Langston is praying that tonight’s League Cup quarter-final against Loughborough University is called off – despite an already chronic backlog of fixtures.

The Romans have endured a series of postponements in the wake of the 3-2 loss at Gornal Athletic on January 12 and have played just five games since mid-November.

Langston’s charges are six fixtures behind some of their Midland Alliance rivals. But the manager’s immediate focus is this weekend’s FA Vase tie against Runcorn Town.

“The Loughborough game is already doubtful,” said Langston. “There was still a lot of snow on the pitch on Sunday. The river banks have broken as well and there’s water two foot away from the fence (at Hillsfield).

“It’s one of those. If we play will it smash the pitch up so it’s no use for Saturday.

“It’s important we get the Vase game on. You’ve got to weigh up what’s best.”

Midland Alliance officials had rearranged the date of the original League Cup tie to aid Rocester’s FA Vase cause after both were scheduled for the same week.

Langston added: “It’s not great preparation for the Vase. They helped us out a little bit but the weather’s been against us.”

The Hillsfield club had anticipated last weekend’s second postponement – and will find out today if their hopes of switching the game to Sunday are approved.

“It would be great for the club to do it,” said Langston. “We would pick up fans who might not otherwise be able to make it.

“I’d love a crowd of 10,000. Seriously, it’d be great to get a crowd of 200 or 300 in. It would also give us another day to get the pitch right.”

No matter which day the match is on, the Romans boss admits his side will be up against up due to their relative inactivity on the pitch.

Langston said: “We’ve not played since Gornal Athletic, Runcorn played last Wednesday.

“They have been getting in games and training. We’ve been getting in as much training as we can on the 3G pitch but it’s not the same.

“We will be really up against it. They will be a little bit sharper than us.”

The prize for both sides is clear with a home tie against Walsall Wood or Hanworth Villa in the fifth round on Saturday week. But Rocester and Town will have to cope with a serious backlog of games.

“Runcorn have been moaning. They’re third in the league but have still played more games than us. We’ll have two maybe three games a week. Our success in the FA Vase and League Cup is killing us.”

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