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Pope and Stannard strike to secure away success

Cottesmore ended a five-match losing streak by returning to winning ways with a 2-0 away success at Kirby Muxloe Reserves on Saturday.

A goal in each half from Tom Pope and Harry Stannard set Amateurs up for a solid all-round win in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division match.

On a tricky playing surface, Cottesmore have not always fulfilled their potential against sides below them in the table this season but manager Rich Giblin was full of praise for his players’ attitude and performance on Saturday.

Harry Stannard secured Cottesmore's win with their second goal on Saturday. (6670205)
Harry Stannard secured Cottesmore's win with their second goal on Saturday. (6670205)

He said: “It was a very pleasing performance. We had a chat before the game about taking the positives from last week as, although we lost the game, the performance had been good.

“This was a must-win three points for us and I wasn’t bothered if we won 1-0 or 10-0 as long as got a result.

“It was difficult pitch which cut up quite badly so we had to do the right things at the right time. We played well and it was a good performance.

“We had to battle which we haven’t always done in the past when we have arrived at places with a better team on paper.

“We had been on a bit of barren run so it was important we gave everything. Everyone played well and the attitude was excellent so I was very pleased.”

Amateurs handed a debut to Matt Green - who is based at the Kendrew Barracks in the village - and he produced a man-of-the-match performance in midfield alongside Danny Seals who was superb for the second successive week with young right-back James Waby again impressing.

It was Seals who set up the opening goal for Cottesmore after 10 minutes when his through ball released Tom Pope who made no mistake with a snap-shot past the Kirby goalkeeper.

Cottesmore continued to have the lion’s share of the game with Seals striking a post while Pope was twice denied by excellent saves from the impressive teenage custodian in the home goal.

Ben Richards thought he had doubled Amateurs’ lead when he finished off Pope’s flick on from a Colton Cropper free-kick only for the assistant to flag for offside.

This sparked a response from the hosts who had their best spell of the game in the run up to half-time and also had an effort disallowed for offside.

With manager Giblin wanting more of the same from his charges in the second period, Cottesmore continued to create the better openings only to be thwarted by the home goalkeeper.

They eventually got the vital second goal to seal the success when some patient build-up play from the back saw them work the ball into the box where Stannard struck home from close range.

Cottesmore are in Ancaster Cup action on Saturday when they host Bourne Town Reserves at Westray Park in the quarter-final clash (kick-off 2pm).

Their reserves – who were without a game at the weekend – travel to face FC GNG’s Development Squad in Division Two on Saturday.

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