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Cottesmore AFC beat Barrow Town in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

An unbeaten start to 2024 has helped boost Cottesmore's hopes of securing a top six finish in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division.

The Rutland side extended their run of games without a defeat to five matches in a 3-1 away success at Barrow Town on Saturday.

It means John Rawdon's side have lost just once in their last eight league outings and have moved them within four points of sixth-placed Sileby Town with five games of the campaign remaining.

Shaun Denigan was on target for Cottesmore.
Shaun Denigan was on target for Cottesmore.

Rawdon said: "It was a really good performance on Saturday and we fully deserved the win in what was a tough game.

"We just seem to have found that bit of momentum at the moment because the side has been fairly settled for most of the season.

"We've settled to a consistency in the last six or seven games, played well, and also had the chance to work in the week on anything that hasn't gone so well and build on things which have.

"Momentum is hard to get but we've now got it and we've got to take what we're doing now into a tough run of games."

Cottesmore had fallen behind inside the opening exchanges of Saturday's match at Riverside Park when sloppy defending presented a chance for Tramaine Byron who then took advantage of a slip by goalkeeper Colton Cropper to break the deadlock.

The visitors rallied after going behind and equalised shortly after when Shaun Denigan fired home a rebound after Aaron Ridout had seen his effort from a Craig McJannet free-kick hit the post.

Cropper then made a decent save to ensure the scores remained even until Cottesmore hit the front for the first time midway through the opening period with a fine individual goal from Brenden Parker.

Parker picked up the ball on the halfway line, accelerated around his man and into the box before smashing his shot in off the post to give Cottesmore the lead.

Ridout then saw an effort disallowed for offside as Cottesmore held a 2-1 lead going into the interval.

The second half saw both sides struggle to create chances with Cottesmore having another effort from Parker ruled out for offside.

Matt Pope was thwarted by a fine save from the goalkeeper before Cottesmore wrapped up the win late on.

A misplaced pass was intercepted by Mark Tinsley who coolly converted to seal the win and maintain Cottesmore's strong run heading into a difficult period of games.

Rawdon added: "We can still finish in sixth place and, if we do, then I think that is something which we deserve.

"It is where we want to be considering how we've played this season and picked up points.

"We've got to pick up a lot more points to get there in a tough run of games against good opposition. It will be a test to prove ourselves if we can get there."

Cottesmore host third-placed Desford and Caterpillar on Saturday before Ellistown - who are fifth - visit Westray Park the following weekend.

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