Rocks Review: Walton Casuals 0 Rocks 5

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Two goals from James Crane and promising performances from fringe players and youngsters were the highlights of the Rocks’ thumping win at Walton Casuals which earned them a place in the next round of the Ryman League Cup.

A quick double just before the break set them on their way to a comfortable win which puts the FA Cup defeat at Sutton behind him in a hurry.

The Rocks had Jon Marzetti, Lewis Ide, Darryl Wollers and Jack Blatchford in the starting line-up and youth-team pair Connor Cody and Aran Liebschner-McCarthy on the bench but any thoughts this was a weakened team were dispelled as the game wore on.

Matt Whitehead, playing in a more advanced role, and Stuart Axten had headers saved by Lee Pearce in a bright start by the visitors before Casuals got back into it and nearly went ahead through a rocket of a shot from 30 yards by Marvin Farrell that flew just over.

Jack Duffy and Christian Webb both went close for Walton but it was the Rocks who struck first - Terry Dodd the scorer from an acute angle on 40 minutes after keeper Pearce fluffed a clearance.

Four minutes later Crane and Dodd combined to present Ide with a chance from six yards, from where he made no mistake.

Five minutes after the break Luke Nightingale limped off amid fears of a hamstring injury. There was no immediate news on how long he may be out for. Seventeen-year-old Liebschner-McCarthy replaced him.

The Rocks remained in control and made sure of victory on the hour when Crane powered home a shot after clever build-up play by Whitehead.

The fourth wasn’t long in following, and this time Blatchford made his mark with a shot from the edge of the box following a goalmouth scramble. The home keeper was injured in the period of play and had to be replaced between the sticks by a defender.

Cody was also introduced and both he and his under-18s team-mate showed up well. Cody mopped up and distributed well from the back and Liebschner-McCarthy looked certain to mark his debut with a goal but was brought down just outside the box by Jordan Knight, who was sent off.

A minute from the end of the 90 Crane scored a fine second goal after controlling a pass from sub Ben Johnson.

ROCKS: Stoner, Marzetti, Wollers, Blatchford (Cody), Breach, Axten, Ide (Johnson), Crane, Dodd, Nightingale (Liebschner-McCarthy), Whitehead. Subs not used: Bond, Prior.

The Rocks return to league action at home to Whitstable on Saturday. They head into the game in second place, three points behind Dulwich Hamlet.

SIMON COOK