Cottesmore Amateurs have come through their toughest run of fixtures this season with real character.
After a 6-1 humbling at Leicestershire Senior League leaders Sileby Town last week manager Neil Miller wanted more fight from his side when they visited second place Birstall United, who are hot on the heels of the leaders - trailing by a point with a game in hand.
And fight is what he got as his midtable Amateurs side scrapped to a 3-1 defeat against a side full of quality.
Cottesmore fought back from going a goal down after half an hour to go in level at the break after captain Danny Seals finished a nice pass from substitute Sam Wood. The youngster was given an early introduction after quarter of an hour after Adam Wilford came off with what was later diagnosed as three broken ribs.
Birstall got a stroke of luck after the break when they were awarded a penalty when two players came together in the box and feeling a touch the attacker went down. The hosts made no mistake from the spot.
Set pieces were the Rutland side’s undoing and when Luke Smith conceded a harsh free kick the high fliers stuck. Delivering a nice ball into the box for the striker to finish with 10 minutes left to play.
Birstall’s goal scorers were Ethan Bibby, Austin Cain and Lewis Dodd.
The fixtures get a little easier for Cottesmore now as they return to Rogues Park for back to back games starting with bottom of the league Desford on Saturday and then seventh place Earl Shilton Albion on Bank Holiday Monday.
If they play with the same attitude and commitment they showed last weekend then they should come away with points from both of those matches to potentially move up from 10th position in the table.