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Reserves bounce back to winning ways with much-improved performance




Cottesmore boss Rich Giblin wants his side to start turning draws into victories after they extended their unbeaten run with another excellent away point on Saturday.

Amateurs returned from third-placed FC GNG with a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division clash.

That took Cottesmore's unbeaten league and cup run to eight games - five of which have been stalemates.

Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858323)
Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858323)

Giblin said: "We are doing everything right. GNG are a good side with good players and we've come away a little bit disappointed to only get a point.

"It shows we are going in the right direction. We are having to change our formation and side each week, but we're still getting the results.

"We have found the consistency to avoid defeats. We've now got to start seeing games out over the 90 minutes and getting the three points."

Cottesmore were without Eathan Milne, Darren Wilke, Harry Stannard and Colton Cropper for Saturday's match which was switched to the 3G surface at the Riverside ground in Leicester.

They were boosted by the return of Danny Seals following an hamstring injury and he produced a dominant display in the centre of the park while Wilson Iron was back in the squad as an unused substitute for the first time since the beginning of September.

Cottesmore were forced to defend a strong head-wind in the opening period and they produced a disciplined defensive display to ensure the first half finished goalless.

Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858364)
Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858364)

With the elements in their favour, they took the game to GNG in the second period and broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the restart.

Jack Mellor produced a superb pass to fizz a 50-yard diagonal ball out to Jordan Smith who took a touch before rifling it into the back of the net for a stunning opening goal.

This stung GNG into action and, following the introduction of ex-Stamford player Reece Morris, they started to create openings.

And the home side's pressure was rewarded with a fortuitous equaliser as Luke Smith made an interception which took the speed off the ball and it fell kindly for Matthew Baird to blast home.

GNG had the lions share of the final exchanges, but it was Cottesmore who came closest to snatching the win as Tom Pope hit a 30-yard screamer which flew inches wide of the post.

Giblin added: "It was a good point overall which we thoroughly deserved.

"It was frustrating that we didn't hold out for all three after taking the lead, but you can't complain too much about drawing away at a side who are third in the league.

"I thought we might have been able to see game out after scoring first, but it's one of those things.

"The first half was probably our best collective performance of the season. We couldn't play any football because, as soon as you tried to play it forward, the ball blew back at you.

"We battled away and really ratted around and then carried the ball forward when we had the chance.

"We wanted to get into half-time still in the game so to come in at 0-0 was fantastic and we were very confident about the second half.

"We got the goal to take the lead and they then threw on their big guns, but we defended well. We just had a bit of bad luck with their equaliser."

Cottesmore are on their travels again this weekend when they face FC Khalsa on another 3G surface looking for a league double after a 3-2 home success earlier in the season.

Giblin added: "They blow very hot and cold. They've beaten the likes of Rugby Borough and drawn with both Thurnby and Saffron Dynamo this season.

"But they've also lost heavily to Asfordby and Desford so hopefully we'll catch them on a bad day."

Cottesmore: Hotson, Atkins, Hamnett, Richards, L Smith, Bendle, Mellor, Seals, J Smith, Robson, Pope. Subs: Lomas, Iron, Giblin.

Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858352)
Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858352)

Cottesmore Reserves produced a much-improved performance to bounce back to winning ways with a 2-0 home success over FC GNG Development on Saturday.

Amateurs’ second string had turned in a poor display the previous week where they went down to a 4-1 away loss at Blaby and Whetstone.

However, a double strike from Jamie Hunt helped them record their second win from the last three Leicestershire Senior League Division Two games at a wind-swept Westray Park.

Cottesmore defended well against the elements in the opening period while stringing together some short passes to build some momentum into a strong head-wind.

Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858343)
Cottesmore Reserves ran out 2-0 winners against FC GNG Development on Saturday. Photo: Lee Hellwing (7858343)

Lee Wood was instrumental in a number of their attacking moves as he set Ben Dawson away down the wing, but his crosses just evaded the incoming Tyler Smith and Hunt.

Cottesmore custodian Nathan Clare made a solid save from a GNG raid before Dawson had a shot deflected onto the post as the half finished goalless.

Cottesmore came out for the second half looking to take advantage of the conditions but, despite Wood’s delivery from setpieces causing concern for the visitors and teenager Harry Sabberton again impressing, Amateurs were unable to put away their chances.

Gavin Waddington smashed a shot against the crossbar after weaving past a couple of defenders as Cottesmore continued to look for the vital opener.

The deadlock was finally broken when Dawson’s cross was flicked on by Smith and Hunt headed home the first goal of the game.

GNG tried to rally but, with 10 minutes of the match remaining, Cottesmore sealed the win as Dawson’s cross was met superbly by Hunt who headed home into the top corner.

Cottesmore: Clare, Waterman, Baker, Quinn, Betts, Waddington (A Wood), Sabberton, L Wood, Dawson, Smith, Hunt. Subs not used: Taylor, Richards.



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