Goalkeeping masterclass from Allen cannot derail in-form Racing Club

Rocester keeper Carl Allen is unable to prevent Scott Turner opening the scoring for Racing Club. Pictures: Louise Smith
Rocester keeper Carl Allen is unable to prevent Scott Turner opening the scoring for Racing Club. Pictures: Louise Smith
  • Midland League Division One
  • Racing Club Warwick 2 Rocester 1

Racing Club Warwick made it seven league wins on the bounce after beating a plucky Rocester side on Saturday afternoon.

On a day when many fixtures were postponed due to frozen pitches, Racers capitalised by picking up all three points to close the gap at the top with games in hand.

Ben Mackey hangs on to possession for Racing Club.

Ben Mackey hangs on to possession for Racing Club.

A fantastic display from the Rocester stopper Carl Allen kept the home side at bay for the bulk of the first half, with Ben Mackey denied three times after doing well to carve out shooting opportunities.

Trea Bertie had a fierce shot well saved and a Luke Cole effort was again thwarted by the impressive Allen.

Marc Passey’s deflected shot bounced back off the crossbar and it looked like for all their efforts on target, Warwick would go in at the break level.

That was until the 40th minute when captain Scott Turner superbly headed home from Henry Leaver’s corner.

Scott Turner is congratulated on his opener.

Scott Turner is congratulated on his opener.

And, with Joe Smith working hard to stem the Romans’ threat in a faultless display, Racers went in at the interval deservedly ahead.

The second half saw a continuation of the Warwick pressure.

Mackey again had several chances superbly saved by the now battle-scarred keeper who bravely carried on despite obvious injuries to several parts of his body.

The former Leamington hitman looked like his duck would be broken when he went clean through but again Allen stood his ground and the Rocester number one was a similarily imposing presence when Bertie went one on one with him.

Racers boss Scott Easterlow watches on.

Racers boss Scott Easterlow watches on.

Bertie was not to be denied, however, and he struck a fearsome blow to the Rocester hopes when driving home a fierce shot in the 56th minute.

Mackey glanced a header just wide after a lovely cross from Chris Johnston and the luckless striker was yet again denied by an Allen tip-over.

Rocester pulled a late goal back when Tom Brown fired home in the 85th minute and they piled on some pressure late on.

However, the home side held out to chalk off another three points in their quest for promotion and Racers manager Scott Easterlow said despite the closeness of the final score, his side were comprehensive winners.

He said: “For 45 minutes there was only one side in it.

“We kept the ball really well and it was just a case of their keeper making some great saves and us being wasteful.

“It was wave after wave of attacks for us and we deservedly went in front just before half-time.

“The second half was pretty similar in the sense that we wasted a lot of chances to finish the game off.

“They scored a goal late on and pushed the last ten minutes but we held on and were worthy winners.”

Racing Club now lie just three points behind leaders Heather St Johns having played two games less and despite a vastly inferior goal difference, Easterlow says that his side have plenty more goals in them.

He continued: “I’m really pleased how we are playing at the minute and although we are missing too many chances I’m sure it will click for us soon and everything will fly in.”

Racing Club travel to Hinckley AFC on Saturday.