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Cottesmore beat Highfield Rangers in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

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Cottesmore manager Rich Giblin praised the attitude of his players as they stretched their unbeaten run to nine games with victory over Highfield Rangers on Saturday.

Goals from Tom Caldicott, Mark Tinsley and Harry Stannard secured the success in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division match at Westray Park.

It was a solid all-round showing from Cottesmore and boss Giblin was pleased at how his charges responded to last week's below-par performance in the home draw with Fleckney Athletic.

Harry Stannard sealed the win with his 13th goal of the season. (54346354)
Harry Stannard sealed the win with his 13th goal of the season. (54346354)

He said: "The conditions were difficult but we went out and showed what we can do which was encouraging.

"The difference to the previous week was that, when things weren't working, we didn't get frustrated.

"There was lots of encouragement and belief in the fact that it would work at some point which it did.

"It was a very positive performance and the difference in the attitude was night and day from the previous week.

"It always looked like we were going to score at some point wheras the previous week it was very much a huff and puff kind of performance so all credit to the boys for going out and doing what we said."

Highfield had arrived on the back of three successive victories but it was Cottesmore who created the better chances in the opening exchanges.

Stannard twice went close with headers before home goalkeeper Alex Brown had to react swiftly to head clear a threatening raid at the other end.

The deadlock was broken on the half-hour mark when Kieran Burley created an opening to cross for the incoming Caldicott to slot home.

Morgan Heppleston then went close for Cottesmore who continued to look strong in the second period.

They doubled their lead when Stannard threaded a through ball which saw Tinsley take advantage of some hesitant goalkeeping by nipping in to tap home from close range.

Cottesmore were then able to make changes with both Eathan Milne and Liam Smith making welcome returns to the Rutland ranks which was missing the key quartet of Luke Smith, Danny Seals, Colton Cropper and Danny Barker.

They sealed their success when Eddie McDonald robbed a Highfield defender before unselfishly setting up Stannard to score his 13th goal of the season which matches the tally of strike partner Tinsley.

The victory moved Cottesmore into joint fourth place ahead of Saturday's home match with Hathern where they will be looking to take their unbeaten run into double figures.

Boss Giblin added: "The run doesn't really relate to anything but shows that we have turned a corner and we're not an easy team to beat.

"If we can now win a proportion of the next few games, it keeps us in that top four or five where realistically we want to be at the end of the season.

"If we can keep this little run going, it will give us that little kick that we need to just keep moving up."

Cottesmore: Brown, Wilke, Ridout, Denigan, McDonald, Roberts (Liam Smith), Heppleston (Milne), Burley (Fontoura), Caldicott, Stannard, Tinsley.

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