Cottesmore AFC draw with Desford & Caterpillar
A sixth draw of the season gave manager John Rawdon the biggest amount of satisfaction as Cottesmore held high-flying Desford on Saturday.
The Rutland side have drawn 50 per cent of their Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division matches so far this season.
But Rawdon was pleased with a point on Saturday as Ewan Simmons' goal helped stretch their unbeaten run to five league games against their third-placed hosts.
The Cottesmore boss said: "After all these draws we keep getting, this was the one which I was happiest with.
"It was a good game and the pressure was on them being at home and chasing the leaders to get a result but we were good value for it."
A bright and even start from both sides saw Desford begin to wrestle control of the contest away from Cottesmore as the first half wore on.
The hosts hit the woodwork twice in the opening period while Cottesmore goalkeeper Kevan Henry also produced a superb save to keep the scoreline blank.
The Rutlanders responded in the latter stages of the half with Matt Pope - brother of ex-Cottesmore striker Tom - coming close to marking his first start with a goal only to be denied by a fine save from the home custodian.
Cottesmore then fell behind early in the second half as they paid the price for conceding a number of needless free-kicks with a setpiece being pumped into the area and Desford being awarded a penalty following another foul and Madison Murrell scored from the spot.
However, this seemed to kick-start Cottesmore and they equalised with a terrific team move.
Will Rawdon won possession, beat a player and then swapped passes in a one-two before finding Tom Caldicott out wide.
Caldicott took on his marker and then delivered an inch-perfect cross to the back post where Simmons headed home.
Tempers then became frayed late on with the home manager being sent off after a melee as neither side could find a late winner despite both having chances in what was a hard-earned point for Cottesmore.
Rawdon added: "I was questioning ourselves when we went behind because we had a lot of work to do to get back in the game but, all of a sudden, we started playing really well.
"I don't know what changed but we took the game to them and there was only one team in it for 20 or 25 minutes.
"It was one-way traffic and we scored a sublime goal for this level of football. It was a cracking passage of play.
"Both sides had chances to win it but ultimately I felt that a point was fair, although we were probably the happier of the two with it."
Cottesmore return to Westray Park on Saturday with a home match against Friar Lane and Epworth.
The Leicestershire side were 3-1 winners in the first meeting of the two teams in the second game of the season with Rawdon now looking for his side to turn their draws into wins.
He commented: "Fundamentally, for me as a manager, I want us to be hard to beat and organised this season and we've proved that for a team which is a little bit in transition.
"Saturday was probably the first time that we earned a point rather than dropping two from all these draws.
"We now need to turn them into wins because we've got a very good squad which is big with plenty of depth.
"We are struggling to get that consistent starting eleven though because you need players playing together week in, week out.
"That is the one thing that's missing at the moment and is unsettling us a little bit and not allowing us to pick up the wins instead of draws."
Cottesmore's League Cup clash with Aylestone Park Reserves - which was postponed recently, has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 14.