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Amateurs beaten in penalty shoot-out

A controversial call denied Cottesmore the chance of claiming a derby upset in Tuesday night's Leicestershire Senior Cup clash at Melton Town.

Amateurs had battled back from conceding an early goal to their high-flying United Counties League Division One hosts to get back on level terms through top scorer Harry Stannard.

They then thought they had taken the lead in the quarter-final clash when Jordan Smith raced clear shortly after to put Amateurs in front.

However, Cottesmore's celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee's flag for offside meaning the honours finished even after 90 minutes.

Melton then held their nerve in the ensuring penalty shoot-out by converting all five penalties after Stannard had missed Cottesmore's opening effort.

Harry Stannard brought Cottesmore level. (5659355)
Harry Stannard brought Cottesmore level. (5659355)

Co-boss Alex Cross was full of praise for his players' performance against their higher level hosts and felt hard done by on the offside call after watching back a video of the incident.

He explained: "We had the game videoed and, after watching it back, Jordy was being played on by two players.

"It looked onside in real-time so it was really frustrating because we had worked so hard.

"It's a completely different game at 2-1. They would have had to have a real go at us and pushed more people on which would have opened up more space for us so it was really disappointing.

"It was a very good night overall for us though. It was really positive and Melton's celebrations after the penalty shoot-out was testament to how well we had played."

Cottesmore had done into the contest looking to bounce back from a disappointing 5-2 away loss at Desford on Saturday in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division.

They fell behind to Sam Thorpe's seventh minute opener for the hosts, but responded well with a sterling display.

They got back on level terms through Stannard's leveller early in the second half when he hit home past an unsighted home goalkeeper from 20 yards.

They then had further chances to secure a semi-final spot after seeing Jordan Smith's effort disallowed.

Jordan Smith saw an effort disallowed. (5659357)
Jordan Smith saw an effort disallowed. (5659357)

Cross commented: "We rode the pressure a little bit in the first 10 or 15 minutes, but we then tweaked a few things so we could get at them more.

"Going behind was probably the best way the game could have gone for us. We had to up our game from really early on.

"It was so different to three days ago at Desford. We had more heart. People put their bodies on the line and they wanted to get their heads in there and win the second ball as well.

"We did the nasty and ugly bits which made Saturday's defeat more annoying.

"Good teams will do that at Desford and then follow it up at Melton so we need to do it again this weekend.

"We can compete with sides like Melton and the resources they have available so we have now got to get that consistency.

"There were always going to be a few bumps in the road. We have had a couple, but Tuesday was definitely a massive step in the right direction.

"We made a really good fist of it. We now need to show the same ability and mindset to keep that consistency.

"We were really happy at what happened overall. It shows what we can do when we have the full remit available. We have showed what we can do if we are right on it on the day."

Cottesmore are back in league action on Saturday when they host Premier Division leaders Thurnby Rangers at Westray Park.

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