NEW signing Joshua Ross, from Rainworth Miners Welfare, made his debut for Rocester FC in their 3-2 defeat away to Long Eaton United in the Midland League Premier Division.
The Romans looked ring-rusty after a month out of action and were 1-0 down after just 11 minutes, when Fabian Smith scored direct from a free kick needlessly given away on the edge of the box.
Rocester were lucky not to fall further behind when Tom Gamblin hit the post, before Martyn Smyth levelled from the penalty spot in the 34th minute, after being hauled down in the box.
However, Long Eaton regained the lead through Gamblin when he got a foot to a rebound five minutes before half-time.
Eric Graves went close to equalising for Rocester in the 45th minute when his goalbound attempt struck the woodwork.
The missed proved costly when Long Eaton increased their lead to 3-1 through Smith after 57 minutes, when he headed in from a corner kick.
Rocester made changes at 71 minutes in an attempt to take something from the game, when Ryan Griffin came on for Scott Wesson and Olie Roome replaced Rob Ritchie Smith.
Smyth was unlucky to see his deflected shot hit the Long Eaton bar, before Graves pulled a goal back for Rocester by heading in from close range.
It was then Long Eaton’s turn to find the woodwork again as the action continued to flow from end-to-end.
Substitute Dean Bromley added to frustrating afternoon for Rocester by yellow-carded for an off-the-ball incident, only eight minutes after coming on to replace Tom Brown.
The Romans are at home to Boldmere St Michaels on Boxing Day (3pm) and then travel into Leicestershire to face Quorn on Saturday.