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Cottesmore earn a draw at Leicestershire Senior League leaders Allexton and New Parks

Cottesmore became the first side this season to take points off table-topping Allexton and New Parks after sharing the spoils in a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

The leaders had gone into the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division clash on the back of six successive victories after a winning streak which had seen them score 35 goals.

But they needed a second half leveller to prevent Cottesmore from taking their scalp as the rapidly-rising Rutlanders continued to increase their stock following last week's last-gasp 3-2 home loss to reigning champions Rugby Borough.

Tom Bendle's man-marking on Paul Pallett earned the plaudits. (17330355)
Tom Bendle's man-marking on Paul Pallett earned the plaudits. (17330355)

Manager Rich Giblin said: "The lads put in an absolute shift again and we might have nicked it but, going there before the game, we would have taken a point.

"They're frightening going forward so we had a game-plan of Tom Bendle man-marking Paul Pallett who has already scored 16 goals this season.

"Tom did a fantastic job and was our man of the match. It was the first time this season that Paul hadn't scored for them.

"The morale of the lads is superb at the moment and they can't wait for the next game."

Cottesmore had gone into the contest without the suspended Danny Seals and were also missing Harry Sabberton and Andre Fontoura from last week's FA Vase victory at Harrowby.

Darren Wilke, Eathan Milne and top scorer Tom Pope all played despite nursing knocks as Cottesmore made a bright start to the contest.

They created a couple of decent chances but were denied by some fine saves from Allexton goalkeeper Regan Lelacheur.

The hosts then struck the opening goal when Zak Harris was allowed to carry the ball 30 yards past a couple of challenges before driving a low shot which went under goalkeeper Jonny Hotson.

Colton Cropper scored from the penalty spot. (17330357)
Colton Cropper scored from the penalty spot. (17330357)

Giblin felt it was testament to the character of his side that they responded strongly with an equaliser before half-time.

Pope burst clear on goal and was hauled down by Lelacheur who was red-carded after conceding a penalty which was converted with the usual aplomb by Colton Cropper.

Allexton upped the physicality of their game after the break and were soon down to nine men when they had a player sin-binned for dissent.

Cottesmore took full advantage as Pope latched onto a long ball before slotting home past the stand-in keeper who had made a couple of good saves to prevent the Rutlanders from adding to their tally.

Allexton, with their player back from his sin-binning, then threw everything forward as they looked to protect their unbeaten record.

And they were then awarded a penalty of their own following an Adam Lomas foul in the box and Jack McHugh converted the spot kick to ensure the honours finished even.

Cottesmore: Hotson, Waby, L Smith, Wilke, McJanet, Bendle, Craig, Cropper, Milne, Pope, J Smith. Subs used: Iron, Lomas, Preira.

Cottesmore are back in action again on Tuesday night when they host Hathern at Westray Park in the Leicestershire Senior Cup.

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