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Friendlies are preparing us nicely, says Rocester boss Dave Shaw

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DAVE Shaw has been pleased with Rocester’s pre-season campaign, which has begun with a 2-2 draw at Audley and a 5-0 win at home to Cheadle Town.

The Romans were made to work harder than they expected against Audley, as their no-nonsense tough-tackling set the tone for a meaty encounter, but had a more comfortable outing at Hillsfield.

Shaw said: “We probably should have beaten Audley but it was our first game back and hopefully it gave the lads a wake-up call.

“Against Cheadle we played well and it’s important you have that mix of some testing games and some confidence-building ties.”

Rocester drew first blood against Audley as Dan Brown latched onto a loose ball and angled it across the area, where new signing Allwyn Thompson arrived to prod home.

The hosts then levelled before Shaw began to rotate his squad, and Nick Ward got up well to head in Thompson’s free kick.

It ended all square though as a home player was brought down just outside the area and the free-kick was buried low and hard into the far corner.

It was more comfortable against Cheadle, with Thompson netting twice and further goals from Ward, Brent Upton and George Barlow.

Winger Ashley Riddell, who has joined from Newhall United, local right-back Matt Nutt and midfielder Tom Brown, all played some part in the friendlies.

The Romans’ pre-season campaign continues on Saturday against Atherstone Town, kick-off 3pm.

Rocester will face neighbours Stafford Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup.

In the FA Vase, the Romans will travel to Heather St. John’s on Saturday, October 4 in the second qualifying round.

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