Cottesmore AFC defeat Magna 73 in Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division clash
Cottesmore head into a tough run of fixtures with a vital victory under their belts after a one-goal home win over Magna 73 at Westray Park on Saturday.
Aaron Ridout's first half goal was enough to secure the win in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division clash against their newly-promoted visitors.
It ensured Cottesmore bounced back from a disappointing display against Northfield Emerald in their last outing and puts them in good stead for Saturday's trip to unbeaten Rugby Borough which is followed by matches against league leaders Thurnby Rangers and third-placed Allexton New Parks.
Manager Rich Giblin said: "The conditions were tough on Saturday but we really needed the win as we've got a difficult three-week period ahead of us where we're facing all the top teams.
"Magna have done well so far this season and we were coming off the back of a bad result a fortnight ago.
"We re-set a few things and had a bit of a tinker around with the shape and just told the boys to go out and enjoy it.
"We wanted them to work hard and just knuckle down in the conditions. We've done well because it was one of those games where we have had to show character."
Cottesmore created the better chances in the first half but only had one goal to show for their efforts.
They had gone close to breaking the deadlock when the hard-working Mark Tinsley won possession on the halfway line and surged forward before unleashing a shot that rattled against the crossbar.
Darren Wilke then missed a decent opportunity after Cottesmore had forced a succession of corners before Tinsley saw his first-time flick from Tom Atkins' cross superbly saved by the visiting keeper.
The breakthrough finally arrived when Cottesmore custodian Alex Brown lofted a free-kick into the Magna penalty area and Ridout rose highest to loop his header over the goalkeeper.
Magna came more into the contest after the break with Cottesmore having to reshuffle their ranks following a couple of injuries.
Ridout and Liam Smith both had to be replaced with new signing Alex Roberts making his Cottesmore debut after joining from Central Midlands League side Newark Town.
It was the hosts though who could have increased their tally in the latter stages as Morgan Heppleston fizzed over a low cross which the keeper got the faintest of touches on to deflect it away from the incoming Eathan Milne.
Heppleston then broke clear only to shoot at the keeper as Cottesmore closed out the contest.
Boss Giblin added: "When you go in at half-time just 1-0 up after having some good chances, there is always that bit of doubt in your mind.
"They came at us in the second half and we had to dig in at points which maybe showed some resilience which we haven't had in the last few weeks.
"It should have been more convincing in the end but we'll take the three points and the clean sheet which was also important."
Cottesmore: Brown, Wilke, Denigan, Ridout (Heppleston), Maxwell, Barker, Luke Smith, Liam Smith (Roberts), Milne, Atkins, Tinsley.
Cottesmore's Development side recorded their first win of the Division Two season after a 2-1 away victory at Thurnby Rangers Reserves thanks to goals from David Gould and Luke Papworth.