Cottesmore boss is confident ahead of the league leaders’ visit

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Cottesmore Amateurs joint boss Gary Drake is confident his side will claim the scalp of the Leicestershire Senior League leaders on Saturday.

Top side Rothley Imperial will bring an impressive form book to Rogues Park, including a 6-1 victory against Amateurs early in the season.

But Cottesmore have improved dramatically since then and Drake said: “If we have everybody available, we have a great chance.

“We are not a team that should be happy with just a point or losing by the odd goal to the top teams any more. If we want to break into the top six we need to winning these games.”

Last Saturday, Cottesmore returned with a point from Highfield Rangers who were third at the start of play, and Drake added: “We made an effort to play high up the field at Highfield. We will not be sitting back to defend against Rothley.”

The Highfield match was Cottesmore’s first game for more than a month due to snow and then waterlogged pitches, and the Rutlanders were understandably slow out of the blocks, going in a goal down at half time.

Amateurs levelled around the hourmark with Harry Stannard heading in Matt Panter’s corner and could have easily added to their score from set pieces thanks to a series of great dead ball deliveries from Panter and Jamie McKay.

“We looked like scoring from set pieces but for all our possession didn’t look like scoring from open play,” added Drake.

“You could tell that we had not played for a while but we played a lot better in the second half.

“In the end we’ve come away from a team who are third in the league and come away disappointed.”

Cottesmore handed debuts to two young recruits, Jake Culverwell and Sam Burdett who Drake named as man-of-the-match.

“He did really well,” said the Cottesmore boss. “He was up against a big, strong lad and won every header.”

Saturday’s match against Rothley kicks off at 3pm.

Cottesmore: Jordan King, Sam Burdett, Gary Drake, Andy Teare, Jamie McKay, Dave Gordon, Jake Culverwell, Matt Panter, Rob Mason, Harry Stannard (Rob Lewin), Alex Brown. Subs unused: Will Wells, Richard Giblin.