Romans stopped in their tracks on the road to Wembley

Rocester 1, Bewdley Town 3

THE Romans could be forgiven for not being at their very best for this delayed Buildbase FA Vase second qualifying round tie at Hillsfield on Saturday.

Paul Wright's team were returning from a two-week lay-off forced upon them after a club member tested positive for Covid-19.

It was hardly the ideal preparation for the Romans challenge against a team from a step above them in the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division.

Bewdley got off to a flying start when Josh Carpenter gave them the lead from Matt Kerby's 10th minute cross after the visitors a number of early openings.

However, Bewdley then handed their hosts a gift equaliser with a bizarre own goal, when Ben Priest's badly judged back-pass flew over goalkeeper Isaac Culver and ended up in the back of the net.

Rocester made a couple of half-time substitutions with Kieran Lawton and Jordan Dodd replacing Matt Nutt and Jack Dundas respectively.

A further substitution was made on the hour mark when Elisio Francisco came on for Jack Thatcher.

Bewdley continued to dominate but had to wait until the 75th minute to regain the lead, when Simon Rudd latched onto a defence splitting pass from Tiago Ribeiro to score.

Try as they might, Rocester couldn't find a way back and the result was put beyond doubt when Rudd then rammed home Bewdley's third goal.

Bewdley's reward is a home tie against Stapenhill in the first round proper.

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