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Last-gasp equaliser denies Amateurs first win

Tom Pope has scored six goals in four games for Cottesmore. (4004734)
Tom Pope has scored six goals in four games for Cottesmore. (4004734)

Cottesmore Amateurs boss Neil Miller admitted his side suffered a cruel blow after a last-gasp penalty denied them their first win of the Leicestershire Senior League season on Tuesday night.

Amateurs looked on course to record their first Premier Division success after two defeats when a double from the in-form Tom Pope put them in control of the contest against Asfordby.

However, the home side were awarded a penalty in the dying throes which Tyler Haynes converted to earn a share of the spoils.

Miller said: "It was cruel and a bit harsh.

"I thought we were the better team, but they were then awarded a penalty with a couple of seconds left. There was just time to restart the game before the whistle was blown.

"It was a decision that I've seen given and sometimes not.

"The referee wasn't 100 per cent sure the foul was in the area but, after consulting with his assistant, he's given the penalty.

"My defender has felt he's got the ball and it was outside the area so we've had two decisions go against us. We've been hit with both ends of the stick.

"It's very disappointing because we were so close to getting the three points after two tricky away games."

Cottesmore's early season has been blighted by a string of injuries with the influential quartet of Andre Fontoura, Wilson Iron, Jordan Smith and Luke Smith all currently sidelined.

And, having already lost two league games and one cup match this season, they got off to a slow start at Asfordby as Luke Peberdy gave the hosts a fourth minute lead.

Cottesmore rallied and were back on level terms through Pope who then hit his sixth goal in four games to give them the lead before the late penalty blow.

Miller continued: "I wasn't at our game on Saturday, but I've been told it was pretty shambolic so it was a lot better on Tuesday.

"We are struggling with injuries, but we still had a squad of 15 available which shows our strength in depth.

"We've just got to make sure we stick together and go out and perform together as a team.

"We've got a bit of an uphill climb at the moment due to our own naivity in the first two league games and this is the first step forwards.

"We looked more compact at the back, our fitness was better and we worked hard up top. It was a lot better.

"Tom's in great goalscoring form at the moment, but the work-rate of the other two up front and the midfield three have helped create the openings.

"There were a lot of positives, but we've got to be wary that every time we blow a bit of smoke up about the players it doesn't came back to bite us."

Amateurs are at home on Saturday to Saffron Dynamo who have won two and drawn one of their opening league games.

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