ROCESTER FC emerged victorious from an incredible 13-goal thriller at Nuneaton Griff to go through to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase last night.
There were hat-tricks for Martin Smyth, pictured left, and Oli Roome as Rocester swept to an historic 8-5 victory after extra-time.
A game of thrills and spills saw Nuneaton take the lead in the 21st minute, after young goalkeeper Charlie Wood spilled the ball into the path of home striker Matt Brennan.
However, Roome replied in the 37th and 44th minutes to give Rocester a 2-1 lead at half-time.
Brennan levelled for Nuneaton three minutes into the second half, lobbing into the net from long range, only for Smyth to regain the lead for the visitors from a free kick.
Rob Ritchie-Smith increased Rocester’s lead to 4-2 in the 67th minute, heading in a long ball from Roome, pictured below, before Lee Hewitt pulled the score back to 4-3 just six minutes later.
With just two minutes remaining shocking defending gifted Matt Lamb an equaliser for Nuneaton to take the game into extra-time.
Six minutes into the added time former England youth international Ritchie-Smith blasted Rocester ahead and four minutes later Roome completed his hat-trick to put the visitors 6-4 up.
Smyth then converted another free kick to increase Rocester’s lead 7-4, only for Hewitt to reply for Nuneaton once more in this crazy encounter.
However, Rocester had the last word when Smyth completed his hat-trick from a counter-attack.
Rocester now face Midland League rivals Heather St Johns or Coventry Sphinx away in the second qualifying round on Saturday, September 23.
The Vase victory earned Romans a useful £550 prize money from the FA.