RUTLAND’S footballers endured a disappointing return to action with heavy defeats for Rutland Rangers and Cottesmore Amateurs on Saturday.
Cottesmore went down 7-1 in the Leicestershire League’s Premier Division while Rutland Rangers lost 5-1 in the Peterborough League’s top flight.
After several weeks without a match and few chances to train properly due to recent snow, lack of match fitness was partly to blame .
Amateurs boss Steve Duffy said his side looked tired as they conceded a flurry of second half goals at Loughborough side, FC Dynamo.
Duffy was bitterly disappointed with the way his side folded in the final 20 minutes, shortly after Jordan Barker had pulled a goal back for the Rutlanders.
Amateurs were trailing 2-0 at half time but Duffy insists they should have been on the scoresheet before their hosts took the lead.
He said: “I’m always glad to be back in action but was very disappointed with the result.
“The scoreline flattered them. We should have been 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes if we could only put the ball in the net.”
Dynamo’s opening goal had an element of fortune with the ball coming back off a post to rebound into the net off the keeper but in the final 20 minutes Dynamo showed how to take chances in front of goal.
Duffy added: “Heads dropped after the fourth and the difference in fitness levels told in the last 20 minutes.
“We are better than where we are in the league.
“We are good enough to be higher in the table but are losing silly games.
“We need to score goals. Their boys took their chances and that is the difference.”
Next up, Cottesmore face early season leaders Thurmaston away, and they must do so without captain Lee Wood, who has been ruled out until January by injury.
Duffy said: “Lee will be out until after Christmas. It’s a massive blow to us. He’s club captain and a good guy to have in the dressing room.”
After taking 10 points from four games before the weather-enforced break, Rangers capitulation at home to Crowland came as a surprise.
The visitors to Greetham only survived relegation because Fletton folded over the summer. But they shocked Andy Saddington’s men on Saturday with goals from Ian Locke, Steve Wells and a hat-tick from Matt Barnett.
Rangers briefly rallied with Ben Easson scoring with a second half free kick but a flurry of late goals ended Rangers resistance.
Crowland are due to visit Uppingham Town, whose game was cancelled last weekend, tomorrow. Rangers play Whittlesey away in the PFA senior cup in a tie re-arranged after Uppingham’s expulsion from the competition.
l COTTESMORE’S Boxing Day match against Asfordby Amateurs will be played on December 27 at Rogues Park with an 11am kick off.