COTTESMORE maintained their excellent pre-season form with a 2-0 win at home to Harrowby on Saturday.
That victory follows a 4-1 win against Eastwood and a 4-0 thrashing of Stamford Bels, and joint boss Gary Drake, who joined Steve Duffy at the helm this summer, says there is a positive atmosphere at Rogues Park.
He said: “Friendlies are hard to gauge but we are keeping clean sheets and scoring goals. We have a few tougher games to come.
“There are a lot of players coming together who have not played as a group before but they have all gelled very well. We have had around 18 at training and a few trialists coming in, and hopefully we will have Jamie McKay back for the weekend.”
However Drake and Duffy are on the lookout for a goalkeeper after the departure of Alex Brown, along with Mike Feeley and Tom Caldicott, who have switched to United Counties League side Bourne Town.
“It was disappointing as these are three players who could have strengthened the squad but since we lost to Barrow in the first game we have gone from strength to strength,” said Drake.
Andy Teare and Matt Panter were Cottesmore’s goalscorers against UCL outfit, Harrowby, on Saturday.
The opening stages of the game were relatively quiet with Cottesmore dominating possession but struggling to penetrate a resolute visitors’ defence.
The opening goal of the game came half an hour into the match when Harry Stannard beat the goalkeeper from inside the penalty area only to see a defender block the ball with his arm on the goal-line. Teare stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot.
The opening goal seemed to knock the visitors and Cottesmore should have had a second when Toby Sheppard headed wide with the goal at his mercy after an Ian Harrison corner.
Cottesmore did however add a second when Panter prodded home after good work on the left by Dave Gordon just before the break.
The second half was a quieter affair with both team restricted to long range efforts including a 25 yard effort from Teare that was well held by the visiting keeper. Cottesmore had the ball in the net once again late on only for the referee to rule the strike out due to an infringement on the keeper.
Drake said: “They had a few trialists and a few first team players while we had a good side out. We moved the ball well in the first half but lost our tempo in the second.”
Cottesmore’s Leicestershire Senior League campaign is due to start on August 18 with their opening match provisionally to be at home against Stapenhill. The league is expected to confirm the fixture list at the weekend.
Drake added: “Our first three matches are at home and hopefully that will put us in a good position.
“It should be a very competitive league with the likes of Stapenhill and Birstall but I don’t see why we cannot do well.”
Before that Cottesmore were due to play Peterborough League outfit Baston yesterday evening and will face Ruddington on Saturday, an Army side at Cottesmore on Wednesday, and United Counties League side Bourne at home on August 11.
Any players, especially goalkeepers, interested in joining Cottesmore should call Gary on 07857 072745.