Cottesmore Amateurs rounded off their league season with another high-scoring match against Ashby Ivanhoe on Saturday.
Amateurs won by the odd goal in seven when the two sides met at Ashby last month, and it rained goals when the teams met again, at Rogues Park, although on this occasion the Leicestershire side won 5-3.
Cottesmore were short of players due to a injuries, suspension and work commitments, and within minutes were forced to use their emergency substitute, veteran coach Barry Suggett, to replace the injured Chris Shaw.
A rather quiet first half gave no hint as to what the second 45 would offer with just one goal before half-time - a good finish by Ashby hotshot Phil Gibson.
In the second half it was a different story. The tone was set within the opening 60 seconds. Cottesmore joint-boss Steve Duffy was still walking back to the dugout when Mitch Jordan deceived Alex Brown with a shot from the left wing.
Gibson added his second with a simple tap in, Jordan secured his brace with a header from a corner, and the Rutlanders looked on course for a thumping as Ashby cut through them at will. However Amateurs salvaged a bit of pride when Harry Stannard curled their first goal into the top corner from just outside the box.
Tails up, Cottesmore came into the game and made it 4-2 with an impressive effort from Andy Teare from just inside the box.
Just as it looked like a sensational comeback might be on the cards, Gibson completed his hat-trick with a shot from the left wing that took an unfortunate deflection off Suggett. Cottesmore had the final say when Jake Culverwell got his head onto a free kick to make the score 5-3.
Steve Duffy said: “I just thought we came up a little bit short today with poor decision making and maybe one eye on the final.
“However, with 10 players missing and Chris Shaw going off in the first five minutes, I can’t be too hard on the lads.”
The result means Cottesmore end the season in eighth in the Leicester Senior League’s top flight place with the final of the Ancaster Cup to look forward to on Saturday.
The final, which with be against the winners of the semi between Deeping Rangers Reserves or Ryhall United will take place at Rogues Park. Kick off is 2.30pm.
Cottesmore: Alex Brown, Callum Pawley, Rich Giblin, Chris Shaw, Lee Wood, Gary Drake, Andy Teare, Danny Mackay, Harry Stannard, Jake Culverwell, Rob Mason. Sub: Barry Suggett.