League leaders Rothley Imperial showed why they are top of the table, beating Cottesmore Amateurs at Rogues Park, on Saturday.
Amateurs have vastly improved this season but were made to pay for defensive lapses, losing 3-1 in the Everards Leicestershire Senior League at the weekend.
Cottesmore experimented with three at the back and five across midfield in the first half and were one down at the break after Ash Warner had beaten Amateurs’ offside trap.
The Rutlanders reverted to a standard 4-4-2 in the second half but despite a stronger display fell further behind with Rothley’s second credited as an own goal, and their third scored by Steve Hart. Skipper Andy Teare pulled one back for Cottesmore, scoring on the half-volley at a corner.
Joint Cottesmore boss Steve Duffy said: “They are a good side but all three goals we gave away.
“We tried a different formation in the first half but it never really worked and we were always struggling. We changed back in the second and looked much better.”
Alex Brown had the best opportunity to add to Cottesmore’s tally but put his shot wide after breaking through the Rothley defence.
The result leaves Cottesmore, one place above their next opponents, Dunton and Broughton Rangers, who they beat 4-1 at home earlier in the season.
Duffy added: “We don’t want to make changes to the side but a couple will be missing.
“It will be difficult away on Saturday but these are the games that we should be winning.”
Cottesmore: Jordan King, Sam Burdett (Callum Pawley), Gary Drake, Chris Shaw, Andy Teare, Jamie McKay, Rob Mason, Dave Gordon (Andre Fontoura), Jake Culverwell, Harry Stannard (Rob Lewin), Alex Brown. Sub unused: Danny McKay.
Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division results: Birstall United 1-2 Dunton & Broughton Rangers; Caterpillar 1-2 Sileby Town; Cottesmore Amateurs 1-3 Rothley Imperial; Desford 7-2 FC GNG; Highfield Rangers 0-1 Stapenhill; Saffron Dynamo 0-5 Kirby Muxloe Res; Sileby Saints 0-4 Ashby Ivanhoe.