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Away defeat for Amateurs who are unable to build on promising performances

Frustrated joint Cottesmore boss Alex Cross bemoaned the lack of consistency in his charges after they fell to a disappointing defeat at Barlestone St Giles on Saturday.

Amateurs had gone into the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division contest on the back of excellent performances against Melton Town and high-flying Thurnby Rangers.

However, they failed to rise to the occasion at Barlestone on Saturday and fell to their third successive league defeat.

Cross commented: “It was a fair result. Barlestone thoroughly deserved the win because they were better in every department.

“They wanted it more and played the conditions better. We didn’t get our passing game going or get in behind to create anything.

“It was very frustrating. We outbattled Melton and Thurnby and showed more desire but, when we were up against it, we didn’t come out and show it. We need to be doing it consistently.

“If you put us on a nice pitch and in nice circumstances with no pressure on us then we look a good team, but we can’t back it up when we have to battle it out.

“We don’t seem to be able to find an ugly side to our game. We are better than most teams football-wise, but we can’t transfer that killer instinct when we need to battle for the first, second and third balls or get on the end of crosses into the box.

“Teams seem to be able to out-work and out-battle us and we tend to go missing a little bit.

“We are still learning about the group and getting an understanding of what we need, but we learned a lot from Saturday.

“It’s a young group and it’s going to happen. It’s another bump in the road and we need to make it right.

“It is something we have got to work on because we knew what the task was when we took the job on.

“We have made progress, but it’s now about pushing ourselves further.”

Danny Seals was denied in the first half. (5896757)
Danny Seals was denied in the first half. (5896757)

Cottesmore fielded the same starting line-up that had been drawing with Thurnby seven days earlier when the floodlights at Westray Park failed.

A scrappy start saw Barlestone deal better with the strong cross-wind and, after creating a couple of chances, they took the lead through David Roberts.

Cottesmore had a chance to equalise shortly after, but Danny Seals was unable to steer his effort over the on-rushing keeper.

Tom Bendle was then unable to convert a good opening at the back post as Cottesmore finished the half a goal adrift.

Cottesmore showed more urgency after the break, but it was Barlestone who created the better openings with Ben Richards and Darren Wilkie both making crucial blocks.

Ben Richards made a crucial block to keep Barlestone at bay. (5896755)
Ben Richards made a crucial block to keep Barlestone at bay. (5896755)

The resilient Cottesmore back line was eventually breached again as Marley Henry’s trickery was rewarded with a strong finish to double Barlestone’s lead.

Cottesmore – who were boosted by the return from injury of Tom Pope as a second half substitute - forced a couple of openings from setpieces in the latter stages, but were unable to find a way back into the game.

Cottesmore: Clare, Waby, Wilke, Richards, McJannet, Bendle, L Smith, Seals, Milne, Stannard, J Smith. Subs: Pope, Jepson.

Cottesmore are now without a game this Saturday after their scheduled match with Allexton and New Parks was postponed on Wednesday.

The match had been scheduled to kick-off at 2pm, but Allexton were unable to make the early start and the league agreed to their request to postpone the match.

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