DAVE Shaw's Rocester continued their preparations for the new season with defeat in a trip to Midland Football League Division One side Atherstone Town.
The Romans were hoping for a modicum of revenge for last season's FA Cup defeat at the hands of the Adders, but it was not to be as the hosts overturned a two-goal deficit to snatch a last-minute win.
The Romans enjoyed the upper hand during the first half, but were quite wasteful in the early stages, particularly from set pieces
In fact, it was not until the 32nd minute that Rocester were able to get their noses in front.
New boy Allywne Thompson cut inside and forced Atherstone keeper Alex Horton into an excellent stop at the expense of a corner, which Thompson delivered to the far post for centre-half Dan Wain to fire the Romans ahead.
The lead was double five minutes later when a high bounce caught out a hesitant Horton, and Dan Brown showed excellent awareness to nip in and head the ball over the keeper.
Rocester made a number of changes early in the second half, which provided game time for fringe players, but allowed the hosts to gain a foothold.
Richard Froggatt twice denied Lee Smith before the hour-mark, but sandwiched in between those two chances was a goal through Ben Ashby, with a neat turn and finish into the bottom corner.
Atherstone struck again ten minutes from time when Froggatt palmed Andy Culver's cross into the path of Smith, who fired home to level.
Rocester had opportunities to restore their lead when Horton held Liam Shaw's header after the striker met Jason Beardsley's free-kick, and when the keeper made a diving interception to take Shaw's cross off Otis Fox's toes.
However, with a minute to go Froggatt was beaten to a ball into the box by Culver, who headed home the winner for Atherstone.
ATHERSTONE TOWN 3
GOALS: Ashby 55, Smith 80, Culver 89 (Atherstone), Wain 32, D Brown 38 (Romans)
ROMANS: Froggatt, Dillon, Beardsley, Tom C Brown, Allen, Wain, Upton, White, Ward, D Brown, Thompson. Subs: Jones, Shaw, Tom M Brown, Fox, Atherton, Johnson.