Cottesmore defeat Thurnby Rangers to maintain excellent run in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division
Cottesmore recorded an eighth successive Leicestershire Senior League victory on Saturday to keep among the Premier Division leading lights.
They defeated Thurnby Rangers 4-0 at Westray Park to sign off 2019 in style after losing just three league games throughout the whole year.
First half goals from Colton Cropper, Harry Stannard and Jordan Smith put Cottesmore in control before man-of-the-match Jake Robson added a fourth after the break.
The victory keeps Rich Giblin's side in third place, just two points behind Friar Lane & Epworth who the Rutland side have two games in hand on.
Manager Giblin said: "It could have been a bit of banana skin being our first game after Christmas and not having played the week before.
"You are always a bit worried if the lads have over indulged and that probably showed in the first 10 minutes or so.
"We started quite slowly while Thurnby came out of the traps. They were the better side early on and were a stronger team than their league position suggested.
"But we soaked up their pressure and, once we got the first goal, we were more or less in control of the game.
"They were very good going forward but we handled that and were able to take advantage of them not being so good at the back."
Cottesmore handed a debut to new signing Alexander Egner who came in for injured goalkeeper Jonny Hotson.
And the former Loughborough Dynamo, Melton Town and Coalville custodian produced an accomplished display on his debut to help Cottesmore keep their second successive clean sheet.
After they had staved off the bright start by Thurnby, the hosts got themselves in front when Tom Atkins and Robson linked up well with the latter's pinpoint cross picking out Cropper to head home the opening goal.
The lead was then doubled when Stannard slotted home after Tom Pope's initial effort had been saved by the Thurnby goalkeeper.
A third goal for Cottesmore then followed just before half-time as they worked the ball out wide before teeing up skipper Smith to steer home his ninth strike of the season.
Cottesmore continued to control proceedings after the break with Egner competently dealing with any raids on his goal.
They added a fourth when Pope, who had gone close on a couple of occasions, set up Robson to rifle home an excellent finish and ensure a winning end to the decade for the Rutland side.
Giblin added: "We haven't kept many clean sheets this season and conceding too many goals has probably been our achilles heel.
"But we managed the game really well in the second half and saw it out to keep another clean sheet which was pleasing. I couldn't really have asked for much more in the first game after Christmas."
Cottesmore were also boosted by the return of Danny Seals who came on as a second half substitute for his first appearance since his knee operation.
Andre Fontoura was also introduced off the bench as he continues to work his way back to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines through injury.
Tom Bendle was rested for Saturday's clash after a recent hamstring strain while Eathan Milne is moving closer to returning after injury.
Cottesmore travel to Ashby Ivanhoe Knights on Saturday while the Development side host Desford at Westray Park in Division Two.
Cottesmore: Egner, Denigan, L Smith, Wilke, Atkins, Cropper, Robson, Sabberton, J Smith, Stannard, Pope. Subs used: Lomas, Fontoura, Seals. Not used: Iron, McJannet.
More by this authorJames Bedford