Bottesford FC reach Leics FA Saturday Trophy final after Lakin’s star turn

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Bottesford secured their place in the county cup final with victory in a keenly-fought contest on Saturday.

Faced with a heavy pitch, Three Lions gained the early initiative, and Bottesford keeper Ben Loomes had to be on his toes to keep the scores level.

The hosts slowly began to battle their way into the game with Rob Lakin unlucky to see his header cleared off the line.

Bottesford broke the deadlock after half-time when Luke Haxby forced home Lakin’s cut-back.

The impressive Lakin then doubled the lead when he robbed possession off the last defender and coolly slotted home.

The Leicester and District League side rallied and kept the tie alive when a pinpoint finish reduced the deficit.

Bottesford had to dig deep as Lions pressed for an equaliser, and Loomes produced more heroics from a series of set pieces, clawing away a header.

Left-back Joe Smith also blocked a certain goal as he defended the back post from a corner, but man-of-the-match Lakin sealed a place in the final when he poked home from a corner.

Bottesford manager Jon Allsopp was quick to praise his players: “The lads won the battle in difficult conditions and deserved to win the game.

“Our home record is good for a reason. We make teams work hard to score against us and have players that will always cause problems. “We’ve only lost four home matches since 2012, and I’m immensely proud of the players. We are developing on all fronts and this young squad are a credit to the club.”

Bottesford will meet North Leicestershire League rivals Ravenstone United in the final on Thursday, March 12 at the county FA’s Holmes Park HQ.