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Cottesmore AFC can finish third in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division



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A top three finish remains in Cottesmore's control as they head into the final weekend of the Leicestershire Senior League season.

The Rutland side bring the curtain down on their campaign with a tricky trip to face fifth-placed Blaby and Whetstone.

A point from the Premier Division clash should be enough to secure third spot for Cottesmore who have recovered well after a stumbling start to the campaign after rebuilding their squad during the close season.

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458727)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458727)

Manager Rich Giblin said: "Blaby are a good side so if we can get what we need from the game to finish third then I think we can look back on a successful season given the challenges we have had.

"It's been a tough year and we have been going for about 10 months now, having started pre-season at the end of June.

"It has highlighted a few things that we need to look at for next season in terms of availability and strength in depth.

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458725)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458725)

"But, if somebody had said to me when the season started that the lowest you could finish was fourth going into the last game, I would have taken their hand off."

Cottesmore played their last home game of the season on Saturday when they went down to a 3-1 defeat against already-crowned champions Rugby Borough.

After a goalless first half, Rugby netted three times in the second period before Eathan Milne hit a consolation for the depleted hosts.

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458724)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458724)

Giblin added: "We played okay in the first half and created some chances while restricting Rugby to half-chances.

"We didn't get the luck we needed at the right time though and you could see that the boys were flagging at half-time having played a lot of football recently.

"Rugby then scored within four minutes of the second half starting which was a blow for us because our resolve might have lasted a bit longer if we had continued to keep a clean sheet.

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458722)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458722)

"We came up a little bit short when we looked leggy in the second half as the boys had worked really hard against a very good side.

"We kept on going right until the end which was good but we did have a lot of square pegs in round holes which you can't get away with against the top sides."

Cottesmore had started well and matched the title winners in the opening exchanges as Rugby shaded the possession.

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458720)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458720)

Home goalkeeper Alex Brown made a couple of routine saves while Alex Roberts sent a shot over the Rugby crossbar from distance.

Liam Smith also shot over after getting on the end of a through ball before Eddie McDonald saw a header cleared off the line from Milne's corner.

Another setpiece then fell for Shaun Denigan whose effort was blocked with Mark Tinsley being unable to connect with an acrobatic attempt at the rebound as the first period finished all square.

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458719)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458719)

A mix-up in the home defence then allowed Rugby to take the initiative early in the second half with a far post finish.

The recent exertions in a flurry of midweek matches then started to take the toll on Cottesmore as Rugby netted a further two well-worked goals.

Despite the match being out of reach, Cottesmore rallied again and Morgan Heppleston won possession to tee up Milne to score their consolation.

Cottesmore: Brown, Papworth, Denigan, Bendle, McDonald, Roberts (Mercer), Heppleston, Milne, McJannet (Fortnam), Tinsley, Smith (Godfrey).

Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458717)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458717)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458716)
Cottesmore were beaten 3-1 by Rugby Borough on Saturday. Photo: Alan Walters (56458716)


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