City Defeat Basement Club Rochester United
Four goals for dominant City in comfortable victory
Canterbury City 4 Rochester United 2
A fairly straightforward victory against bottom of the table Rochester saw City continue with their impressive league form with now just one defeat in eleven. They got themselves into a four goal lead, before then having a fifth chalked off for offside before the visitors rallied with a couple of late strikes.
It was an open start to the game with both sides having chances to open the scoring. A Tom Barton effort was spilled by Rochester keeper Tony Coxall but grabbed back at the second attempt, while the visitors saw a free-kick fired into the City side netting. Coxall was the busiest of the keepers pouching a Rob Lawrence shot and then just beating the attacker to a well aimed Barton ball into the box. A Dave Pilcher ball flew across and just inches in front of the on-running Barton, while the keeper had be smart again just after to push a superb Cory Walters-Wright ball out for a corner as Lawrence was aimed to nod it home.
City looked by far the most likely to score as they continued to press forward. Coxall was forced into action again with a full stretch stop to thwart Pilcher before he then produced a brilliant reflex save to prevent one of his own defenders from putting the ball into his own net. How Rochester survived the mini scramble that followed is anybody's guess but they did and when the ball came back out of the box Wayne Wilson fired it back in but Croxall was back up to make another save.
On a rare sortie forward for Rochester, Luke Saggers volleyed high over the City bar while Shingirai Chiriseri nodded a speared in and rearing ball well wide. On thirty-three minutes, City were desperately unlucky not to open the scoring when Lawrence took careful aim for the top corner only to see his terrific shot thump against the face of the post. It wasn't long before the deserved lead came though as just a minute later, City opened the scoring when a ball was swung into the box and flew through a crowd of players before Connor Sanders got the decisive touch for 1-0.
The visitors tried to respond but Saggers saw a shot deflected wide while the resultant corner was headed well over at the far post. Barton was looking very lively for City and he almost set up Daniel Osinoiki for their second before seeing his own shot then saved by Coxall and then bursting through, he drew the keeper but slid the ball a foot wide of the far post.
City pressure was continuing to build though and right on half-time they doubled their lead with a cracker from Wilson. Forty yards out he tried his luck and as the ball flew towards the top corner, Coxall dived across and seemed to have it covered, but he was left grasping at thin air as the ball swerved past him and ended up in the back of the net for 2-0.
City were now well on top at the break, two goals to the good and their opponents grafting, but frustratingly for them, producing very little.
Rochester restarted with a bit of urgency but after Merrick Simms had seen his effort saved by City keeper Jack Delo, their urgency fizzled out as City went on the search for number three. Osinoiki saw his shot curling just inside the far post well taken down low by Coxall before his next effort did in fact make it three, as he waited patiently for a high ball to come down and bounce before battering it on the volley past Coxall for 3-0.
It was all City now and a lovely move found Lawrence in the centre and he held up play before sliding Barton into the box, he turned past a challenge and moved the ball perfectly to fire home before being tripped and in trying to stay on his feet, could only eventually stumble and fall to the ground. A certain penalty, but incredibly he was then booked for diving!
Moments later though he was to have the last laugh with the perfect response to this injustice when he broke forward again and picked his spot - curling a beauty into the top corner from just inside the box, giving Coxall no chance and to make the score 4-0.
He then went close to adding his second, slicing a shot wide before he was down the other end stopping Rochester with a tremendous piece of defending. Saggers then should have at least opened the scoring for the visitors and given them some hope, but breaking through, he drew Delo before dragging his shot around the keeper towards an open goal but also wide of the far post.
City then had a goal chalked off for a contended offside flag, before play shifted quickly to the other end and a ball to hand incident gave Rochester a penalty which Dan Nash fired right down the middle for 4-1.
The goal did indeed give the visitors a lift but in the time that remained, they never looked likely to make any miraculous comeback. City were perhaps a little indulgent in front of goal as they continued to press forward, but a lovely move involving Lawrence and Pat Nzuzi opened up the visitors before the latter's excellent cross was fired over the bar by Barton.
Substitue Billy Lewins then had a shot charged down and another finger-tipped wide by Coxall but Rochester, to their credit kept going forward - more in hope than expectation. Saggers saw a shot skid wide, while Walters-Wright pulled off a superb defensive blocking tackle and Delo made a couple of comfortable saves. They were eventually rewarded for their endeavour though as the last kick of the game saw a low cross from the left deflect off a City player and over his own line from close range for 4-2.
A comfortable victory for the home side, they controlled the game pretty much from start to finish, Rochester huffed and puffed and worked hard but just didn't have the quality to match or trouble City on the night.
Final score; Canterbury City 4 Rochester United 2
City; Jack Delo, Cory Walters-Wright, Gary Sayer, Dan Keyte, Will Hadler, Connor Sanders (Pat Nzuzi), Tom Barton, Wayne Wilson, Rob Lawrence, Dave Pilcher, Daniel Osinoiki ( Billy Lewins)
Unused subs; Ben Smith, Danny Lawrence