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Cottesmore AFC finished in third place in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

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Cottesmore clinched third spot in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division with victory in their final game of the season on Saturday.

They overturned a one-goal half-time deficit to run out 4-1 winners against Blaby and Whetstone thanks to goals from Eddie McDonald, Jordan Smith, Mark Tinsley and Danny Seals.

With fourth-placed Thurnby losing at home to Sileby in their final game, Cottesmore ended with a five-point cushion in third spot as manager Rich Giblin praised the efforts of his players.

Eddie McDonald. (56587203)
Eddie McDonald. (56587203)

He said: "We were all really pleased because if you look at what we have done this season than we have deserved it.

"It doesn't mean you get the job done at times just because you think you deserve it, but third place is what we realistically set out to achieve after the first 10 games.

"It was a good achievement because we have had a lot of challenges this season, on and off the field, and it's testament to the boys for sticking with it and riding out the difficult weeks.

"We haven't been a million miles off in the games which we have lost and have been in all the games which we played.

"We will all enjoy a little bit of time off now and then put together a challenging pre-season as normal.

"We are probably going have to rebuild a little bit over the summer so we'll spend a bit of time talking to people who might fit in with what we're doing and maybe to see if we can put something together to throw us up there to challenge next season."

Cottesmore had found themselves trailing midway through the first half when Brandon Beardmore took possession before firing home a tidy finish past Alex Brown in the visiting goal.

Falling behind did spark Cottesmore into life and they created a couple of half-chances as they pushed for an equaliser.

They then came out strongly for the second half and got back on level terms when Jordan Smith finished off a flowing move involving Craig McJannet and Liam Smith.

Darren Wilke. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56587251)
Darren Wilke. Photo: Rob O'Brien (56587251)

The goal gave Cottesmore the perfect boost and they took the lead for the first time when McDonald netted a close range rebound after the home goalkeeper had produced a superb save to foil Eathan Milne's goalbound effort.

Cottesmore continued to push to increase their lead and the home goalkeeper made several more fine saves to thwart Tinsley and Jordan Smith.

The third goal sealed Cottesmore's success as Luke Smith started the move from the back by picking out Jordan Smith who teed up Milne and his low cross was swept home by Seals.

Top scorer Tinsley then rounded off the afternoon with his 23rd goal of the season as he powered home a header from Jordan Smith's inswinging corner.

There was still time for Darren Wilke - who is remaining as part of management team - to nearly cap his final game before retiring from playing with a goal as he burst forward late on only to be denied by the home keeper.

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