Rocester 0 AFCW 2

AFC Wulfrunians kicked off their league campaign with a well deserved victory away at Rocester courtesy of a second half brace from front man Nicky Turton.


Manager Richard Forsyth was forced into three changes from the team which started last Saturday’s 3-0 victory in the FA Cup v Shawbury United. With Ben Jevons, Richard Palmer and Brodie Williams all unavailable, Matt Johnson made his full debut at right back with Jacob Barnes moving to centre back.  Likewise Joe Daley made his first full start in the centre of midfield and he was joined by Alex Woodhouse, who returned to club on loan from Halesowen Town.


The game got off to a scrappy start in blustery conditions and it wasn’t until the 9th minute that the first real chance was created, when Rocester’s Oliver Roome beat the AFC offside trap to run clear before seeing his effort on goal blocked by the recovering Matt Hunt.


AFC were dealt a blow in the 10th minute when they were forced to replace Jake Webb following a recurrence of his long standing shoulder problem; which saw Jordan Harrison enter the action.


Wulfs first real effort came in the 15th minute when a long ball from Jake Sedgemore found Woodhouse on the edge of the box and after finding room saw his effort on goal deflect into the side netting.


Rocester forced an effort on 18 minutes when Callum Riddell wriggled past the challenges of three Wulfs players before striking an effort from the edge of the 18 yard box which John Bateman did well to gather low down to his left.


A 23rd minute free-kick on the left from Rees Wedderburn was met powerfully by Hunt, but he couldn’t direct his effort on target from 10 yards out while shortly after Rocester right back James Frost saw the ball break to him on the Wulfs left, but his lobbed effort on goal dropped wide.


Wulfs won their first corner of the game on 29 minutes and the ball found its way to Daley on the edge of the 18 yard box but his scuffed shot on goal was deflected wide.


Joe Brockley chanced his luck on 35 minutes but Bateman in the Wulfs goal was equal to the effort.


On 39 minutes, Rocester’s Rob Ritchie-Smith crossed the ball to Scott Wesson just outside the Wulfs 18 yard box.  His fine strike on goal was palmed away by Bateman, who collected the ball at the second attempt.


An excellent run by Turton on 40 minutes saw him square the ball to Woodhouse 18 yards from the Rocester goal, but he blazed his powerful strike over the bar.


The final action of the half came in the 43rd minute when a free kick to Rocester 22 yards out was crossed by Brockley and as the ball fell to Chris Martin but his effort went high and wide.


Rocester started the second half brightly, and on 48 minutes, a right wing cross from Frost was headed wide by Riddell from just 8 yards out.


Wulfs  took the lead on 50 minutes when Rocester centre back Carl Allen allowed a long ball to bounce, which Turton took possession of and ran in on goal before firing high past the Adam Binks into the back of the net.


Bateman then pulled off a stunning save on to help retain Wulfs’ lead when Wesson’s fiercely struck shot took a slight deflection before Bateman dived to turn the ball onto and over the bar.


Wedderburn delivered a teasing cross into the Rocester box after 55 minutes which was scuffed on its way through by Allen, but Turton couldn’t quite tap the ball home before it was hacked clear.


Riddell again found himself on the end of a well-flighted Rocester cross after 59 minutes, but once again could only head wide.


Craig Stevens got in on the act just after the hour mark with a well struck effort straight at Rocester keeper Binks.


Rocester continued in search of an equaliser and on 63 minutes, Brockley lobbed the ball into the Wulfs box where substitute Ryan Griffin shot wide.


On 69 minutes Daley won possession of the ball on the edge of the Rocester box, as the ball broke to Woodhouse his shot on goal drifted wide.


Turton nearly doubled his and Wulfs’ tally when he raced clear of centre back Allen following a long goal kick only to see his shot well saved by Binks.


Following a short corner on 73 minutes a ball was delivered to the far post of Rocester goal where Hunt headed just over the bar.


On 76 minutes, a long free kick, deep into the Wulfs box was met by Martin Smyth, but he could only fire his effort wide.


With Wulfs seeking to double their lead an 82nd minute shot from Stevens was cleared off the line before being hooked clear.


But on 85 minutes Turton secured all three points when Woodhouse headed back a Rocester goal kick and Turton race onto the through ball past the Rocester defence before slotting the ball under the advancing keeper.


Wulfrunians had one final effort on goal after 90 minutes when Harrison squared a ball to Daley 20 yards out which saw his strike on goal go just wide.


Final Score: Rocester 0 AFC Wulfrunians 2.