Cottesmore defeat FC Khalsa in the Everards Restart Premier Cup competition
Cottesmore continued their push to secure qualification for the latter stages of the Everards Restart Premier Cup on Saturday as a goal in each half sunk visiting FC Khalsa at Westray Park.
Tom Pope's first half opener was followed by Jordan Smith's late clincher to keep Cottesmore among the leading lights in Group B despite the withdrawal of Sileby Town from the competition which has seen their opening cup win wiped out.
Manager Rich Giblin was satisfied with his side's display but believes there is more to come from his charges following their third competitive match since the end of the recent national lockdown.
He said: "We played really well in the first half-an-hour and got the opening goal.
"It then felt just a case of how long would it take us to get the second goal, but we made it slightly more harder for ourselves because we didn't finish the game off earlier.
"We are looking strong at the back and we just need to find that little bit to click into place further up.
"The nature of the fixtures have been stop-start and we are having to rotate the players around so we are doing the best we can.
"It was fairly comfortable and at some point I think it will all click in and we will get back to playing some of the football which we are capable of.
"It hasn't happened just yet but, if we are winning and knowing that we are not playing the sort of stuff we can, then that isn't a bad place to be."
Cottesmore made a bright start to the match and dominated the opening exchanges with some tidy football.
They got the vital breakthrough when striker Pope robbed the visiting centre-back by muscling him off the ball and then riding a challenge before slipping his shot past the advancing keeper.
Pope could have doubled Cottesmore's advantage shortly after but blasted his shot wide while Danny Seals went close with a header.
The second goal continued to elude Cottesmore for the rest of the half and Khalsa came more into the contest as the game wore on.
The visitors created their best chance with 20 minutes of the match remaining but home goalkeeper Alex Brown was equal to the test with a fine save.
Cottesmore then sealed the win with five minutes left as Pope released Smith who slotted home in a one-on-one with the Khalsa keeper.
Boss Giblin added: "We could have put the game to bed in the first half but it didn't happen and credit to Khalsa because they came at us more after the break.
"It definitely wasn't as one-sided as the first half. We kept knocking on the door but, for whatever reason, that final ball just wouldn't go through for us.
"It was a good enough performance overall and we have had two clean sheets in the last two games which is pleasing."
Cottesmore are back in action again at Westray Park tomorrow night (Tuesday) when they entertain Ashby Ivanhoe Knights in the quarter-final of the Everards Tiger Bitter League Cup (7.30pm kick-off). They are the current holders of the cup.
Cottesmore's Development side pocketed an excellent point from their City Goldsmith Restart Trophy trip to Holwell Sports Reserves on Saturday.
Anthony Wood netted Cottesmore's equaliser that earned a share of the spoils following a 1-1 draw.