Froggatt, Pirrie, McLeod, Holland, Nadat, Bullock, Kinch, Langston, Sterling, Smith, Owen
Subs: McComisky, McMahon, Woodward, Johnson, Justin
Gwilliams, Humphries (Borrey 72’), Cameron, Glaze, Smith, Elder (Wills 66’), Kalonji, Morris, Wright (Dempster 79’), Nicol, Nash
Subs not used: Luckie, Judd
Alvechurch captain Tom Elder
returned to the side after missing Tuesdays defeat v Gresley. Belgium Kevin Borrey
returned to the bench after injury, with new signing Ben Judd
, also starting on the bench after his transfer from Highgate United.
Church started the brighter with Nash making a good run down the left after 6’ before crossing to find Kalonji; his shot was only half cleared to Nicol who forced Froggatt into a great save for a corner. The Romans responded in the 11’, when a Kinch effort was tipped over his bar by Gwilliams. A mistake in the 16’ nearly cost a goal when a shot by Langston nearly embarrassed Gwilliams. The Romans took the lead after 20’ when after captain Tom Elder
picked up a booking for a challenge, the resultant free kick was floated in to find Craig Smith unmarked to plant his header into the corner past Gwilliams. Church nearly equalised after 25’ when Nash hit the side netting from a shot. The Romans however went 2-0 up in the 26’, when Kinch’s cross from the right found Jordan Nadat at the near post to nip in front of his defender and score from 2 yards past Gwilliams to make it 2-0. Scott Smith
was booked for a challenge after 29’ and Rocesters Kinch followed into referees Mappersons book after 33’ when stopping a quick free kick. A good move on the right developed after 41’ with Kinch feeding Sterling whose cross cum shot went straight through the Church six yard box with Craig Smith failing to get the vital touch. Church then went up the other end and nearly scored after Kalonji fed Nicol who put in Nash, who again could only fire into the side netting. Church finished the half strongly, with first Nash firing a free kick which was blocked by the Roman wall. Glaze then saw a shot wide before the half ended with Nicol feeding Humphries out wide, but a poor cross went out for a goal kick.
Half Time Rocester 2 Alvechurch 0
Church came out of the blocks in the second half and were awarded a penalty after 48’ when Nash was tripped just inside the box. Nash dusted himself off and took the penalty himself and despite Froggatt stopping with his legs, the shot was too powerful and found the net to make it 2-1. After 53’ a long throw by Glaze found Wright, who turned and shot into the side netting. A great move after 55’ started with Nash picking up the ball wide left before crossing to find Wright who laid the ball back to Kalonji to shoot wide. The Romans first effort of the half came after 58’ when a Kinch effort was tipped over the bar by Gwilliams. Nadat headed straight at Gwilliams after 67 and then after 71’ Langston curled a shot which was saved by Gwilliams for a corner, which eluded everyone before going out for a goal kick. Glaze became the 3rd Church player booked in the 83’ for persistent misconduct. Church had a great opportunity to equalise after 85’ when after a great tackle by sub Wills, the ball found Nash on the left who cut back to sub Borrey, who miskicked his shot wide from a scoring position. In the 90’ Langston saw another effort go just over Gwilliams bar and then Nadat shot straight at Gwilliams in the 1st minute of added time. With the game seemingly over and the refs watch ticking into the 5th minute of added time, a long kick by Gwilliams saw the Rocester centre back Bullock miss the ball completely trying to head it back to his keeper. Poacher Nash pounced on the error, rounded the keeper and put it into the net to give Church a well earned and deserved point, but picking up another booking for taking his shirt off celebrating the goal.
Final score Rocester 2 Alvechurch 2
Club spokesman Steve Denny said after “Rocester is a difficult place to come and get anything. They had only lost 2 and drawn 2 of their previous 15 games here this season, so to come back from 2-0 down is especially pleasing. After looking so tight defensively recently, I was disappointed about their two goals. Their first was a free header for Craig Smith and the second, we failed to stop the cross and Nadat got in front of his marker at the near post to score. However, I thought we responded magnificently after the break. They played with 3 at the back and we pushed 3 up top and they didn’t know how to cope. Nashy was a constant thorn in their side all game and was my man of the match and deserved his two goals. That’s 4 wins, a defeat (v Gresley) and a draw in our last 6 games now, so that’s the same current form as Gresley and only bettered by Westfields and Coventry Sphinx. Our next 5 games are massive. We have Willenhall twice, Highgate and Atherstone, with Tividale thrown in. If we can target 12 points from these, then that should see us climb clear of the relegation zone, but it won’t be easy. Atherstone have won 3 and drawn 1 of their last five and Highgate have only lost 1 of their last 4. All the sides at the bottom apart from Willenhall are picking up points, so there are no ‘give me’s’ in this league. However, with the form we are in, we should be confident about picking up points from all games now until the end of the season.”