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Cottesmore AFC draw with Magna 73 in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

Tom Caldicott made a goalscoring return after a 15-month injury lay-off in an incident-packed draw for Cottesmore on Saturday.

Caldicott capped his first start since suffering a serious Achilles tendon injury in the 2022 Rutland Cup competition with the second goal in a 2-2 draw.

The Rutland side had raced into a two-goal lead in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division clash before being pegged back.

Tom Caldicott. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Tom Caldicott. Photo: Rob O'Brien

The hosts equalised from a controversial penalty but then ended the game with nine men after a sending off was followed by a Magna player being sin-binned as his frustrations at the match official boiled over.

Both sides had chances to win the contest but settled for a share of spoils as Cottesmore stretched their unbeaten league run to four games.

Boss John Rawdon said: "Even after 25-plus years of senior football, it's a game that I still can't work out a few days later. It was a crazy game and would have been worth the punter's money if anyone had paid to watch it.

"It was really strange and I think both teams would have accepted it if it had finished 4-4 or 5-5 because we each hit the crossbar and both keepers made saves."

Cottesmore had started slowly but took a 10th minute lead with the first of two finely-crafted goals as Brenden Parker burst clear before netting a fine finish.

The lead was doubled shortly after as Parker again powered through before squaring for Caldicott to score Cottesmore's second goal of the afternoon.

Magna hit back though and, after being awarded a throw-in which Cottesmore strongly felt should have been in their favour, won a free-kick that wasn't cleared by the visitors and the hosts pounced to drive home a finish into the far corner.

The match was then levelled when Liam Prenderville made a cracking clearance to keep the hosts at bay but, to the amazement of both sides as they readied for a corner, a penalty was awarded and Magna converted to equalise.

The second half saw chances created at both ends with the crossbar being rattled by each team before Magna were reduced to 10 men as Parker was taken out by a tackle as he broke clear.

The hosts then had a player sin-binned but held out with the nine men as Cottesmore returned to Rutland with a point.

Boss Rawden added: "It was a really bad decision for their second goal which changed the course of the game but, having said that, it was in the first half and we had chances after that.

"We can take the good parts from the game and build on it because there were some good performances in there.

"It was tremendous to have Tom back and it's like having a new signing because he's a quality player at this level. He played really well along with Will Rawdon and Brenden Parker was a constant threat.

"The team performance wasn't brilliant but there were some individuals who had really stand-out games."

Cottesmore visit second-placed Desford and Caterpillar on Saturday.

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