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Cottesmore AFC are beaten by Friar Lane and Epworth in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

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Complacency and a double injury setback sent Cottesmore crashing to a second successive Leicestershire Senior League defeat on Saturday.

The Rutland side had looked on course to bounce back from last week's Premier Division loss at home to Allexton when goals from Harry Stannard and Liam Smith put them 2-0 ahead at Friar Lane and Epworth on Saturday.

However, when an injured Danny Seals was forced to join the already-concussed Eddie McDonald on the sidelines, Friar Lane scored three times in the second period to inflict a defeat which sees Cottesmore drop down to fifth place in the table.

Manager Rich Giblin said: "It was a hard one to take and going 2-0 up was probably the problem.

"We hadn't played well and then injuries have killed us as well because we've had to make enforced changes.

"We had the conversation at half-time about not letting them back into the game and, if we had to sit on it, so be it.

"You have to give Friar Lane credit though because they were very good going forward and very fast on the break.

"They smelt blood as we started to toil a bit and were full value for the three points but we haven't done what we needed to do.

"We had a bad day at the office because we committed the ultimate sin of probably thinking it was bit easier than it was and got caught.

"The boys are disappointed about it and it's one that hurts because we were going so well."

Cottesmore had seen defender Darren Wilke withdraw in the warm-up due to an injury sustained the previous weekend.

But they took a third minute lead when the home goalkeeper missed his clearance and Stannard took full advantage to tap home the first goal.

Despite losing McDonald after a clash of heads with team-mate Seals, Cottesmore doubled their lead as a defensive mistake was pounced on and punished by Smith.

However, the second half was a different story for Cottesmore and, after losing Seals to injury, Friar Lane cut the deficit by scoring following a corner.

A similar setpiece saw the hosts draw level and it then needed a couple of fine saves from returning goalkeeper Jonny Hotson to prevent Friar Lane from taking the lead.

However, Hotson then caught the Friars forward as he chased a through ball and the hosts took the lead for the first time from the penalty spot.

Eathan Milne went close to equalising late on but Cottesmore were unable to level with the return of goalkeeper Hotson after two seasons out with a serious arm injury being the highlight of the afternoon.

Giblin added: "It was a massive plus to have Jonny back, especially with Alex Brown not being available on Saturday.

"Jonny made some great saves and absolutely all credit to him. He commanded his area well and it was really nice to see him back playing for a club which he will always be part of."

Cottesmore: Hotson, Denigan, Ridout, Fortnam, McDonald (Liam Smith), Luke Smith, Seals (Fontoura), Milne (Papworth), Burley, Tinsley, Stannard.

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