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Cottesmore AFC remain unbeaten in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division after an away draw at FC Khalsa

Table-topping Cottesmore netted a last-gasp leveller to maintain their unbeaten start to the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division campaign on Saturday.

Tom Atkins equalised with virtually the last kick of their contest with FC Khalsa to secure a share of the spoils following a 2-2 draw.

It was the first time this season that Rich Giblin's side had dropped points but they still remain four points clear at the helm.

Tom Atkins (left) hit Cottesmore's late leveller. (42955293)
Tom Atkins (left) hit Cottesmore's late leveller. (42955293)

Giblin said: "It was a game where we didn't play well which was something that was always going to happen at some point.

"There was going to be a game where we produced a performance which wasn't quite good enough and I'm hoping that this was the one game.

"We still took something from the game though despite not really clicking as a team. It was one of those days where things which have worked in other games just didn't."

The match was switched to the 3G surface at Beauchamp College in Oadby on the morning of the game with Khalsa's regular pitch waterlogged.

With the changing rooms out of action, Cottesmore were forced to get ready in their cars for a match that was played in gale-force conditions.

Bottom-of-the-table Khalsa were keen to avenge a 6-1 away defeat at Cottesmore in the League Cup last month and they made life difficult for the leaders in the opening period.

Cottesmore enjoyed plenty of possession but clear-cut chances were at a premium despite forcing a succession of corners.

Aaron Ridout headed into the side-netting at the back post before a couple of shots from distance went wide of the target.

Cottesmore then found their groove to break the deadlock as the ball was moved wide to Tom Pope who whipped in a cross which was headed home by Harry Sabberton.

Harry Sabberton had given Cottesmore the lead. (42955299)
Harry Sabberton had given Cottesmore the lead. (42955299)

The visitors looked to put the contest beyond Khalsa after the break but the crucial second goal proved elusive.

And Khalsa got back on level terms with 20 minutes remaining when they were allowed to carry the ball out of midfield and a free shot from the edge of the 18-yard box nestled into the bottom corner of the Cottesmore net.

The equaliser lifted Khalsa and, despite Sabberton sending a couple of dangerous crosses into the home box which were not converted, the hosts took the lead with seven minutes remaining.

Cottesmore conceded a free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box and the resultant strike took a deflection to beat Alex Brown in the visiting goal.

This stung Cottesmore back in action and they responded with a last-gasp leveller as Atkins linked up well with Pope before placing a precise finish into the top corner of the Khalsa net.

Giblin added: "I think that sometimes you just have to be realistic in the fact that we didn't deserve to win the game.

"It's a game we would expect to win nine times out of 10, but you just have to hold your hands up sometimes and admit that we weren't good enough on the day.

"We'll take a point though because it keeps us going. It gives us 19 points out of a possible 21 this season which is certainly not to be sniffed at."

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