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Cottesmore AFC beat FC Khalsa in Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division match

Manager Rich Giblin praised the character and desire of his Cottesmore side as they returned triumphant from a tricky trip to FC Khalsa on Saturday.

The Rutland side had gone into the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division match after suffering mixed fortunes in their last two outings with a win over Ellistown the previous weekend being followed by a midweek loss to Sileby.

They fell behind early on at the weekend but responded well as goals from Harry Stannard (two) and Shaun Denigan secured the victory.

Harry Stannard (50958666)
Harry Stannard (50958666)

Giblin said: "We did well because it wasn't an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.

"Khalsa were a decent side and it was a hot day on a rock-hard pitch which is short and narrow so it had all the hallmarks of us slipping up.

"It isn't an easy place to go and they will beat sides there this season so we will gladly take that.

"We knuckled down and continued to try and play football. I asked the lads to show some desire and character which they did."

A defensive lapse had allowed Callum Armsden to break clear and beat the advancing Alex Brown to give Khalsa the lead inside the opening 15 minutes.

Cottesmore responded strongly and got back on level terms when Stannard was felled after beating the goalkeeper to Danny Barker's inviting cross.

The Cottesmore striker then picked himself up to convert the resultant spot kick and bring his side back on level terms before the interval.

Cottesmore then answered manager Giblin's rallying call at the break with a flying start to the second half which saw them take the lead shortly after the restart.

The impressive Tom Caldicott picked out Eddie McDonald with a free-kick and his composed pass was bundled home by Denigan.

Shaun Denigan (50958668)
Shaun Denigan (50958668)

McDonald was then the provider again for Cottesmore's third goal as he teed up Stannard who thundered home a fine finish into the far corner.

Khalsa refused to roll over though and rattled the crossbar with a free-kick while also having strong appeals for a penalty turned down.

Cottesmore thought they had added a fourth late on when Mark Tinsley outmuscled a defender before netting only for the referee to penalise the frontman for a foul.

Khalsa continued to look dangerous but Cottesmore kept their threat at bay to secure their second league win of the season.

They play their first home Saturday match of the campaign this weekend when Friar Lane & Epworth visit Westray Park.

Cottesmore: Brown, Wilke, Luke Smith, Denigan, Caldicott, McDonald, Liam Smith (Burley), Fontoura (Atkins), Stannard, Tinsley, Barker (Fortnam).

Cottesmore's Development side had a high-scoring opening to their Division Two season when they hosted Sileby Reserves on Saturday.

They were beaten 5-4 at Westray Park after seeing a 4-1 lead slip from their grasp. Joe Hatherill netted twice with Tyler Smith and Anthony Wood also on target.

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