Melton Town into County Cup semi-finals as Cottesmore Amateurs beaten in shootout

Town made another fast start through Sam Thorpe's opener
Town made another fast start through Sam Thorpe's opener
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Melton Town booked their place in the semi-finals of the Leics FA Senior County Cup with a derby win over Cottesmore on Tuesday evening.

The Senior League side gave higher league Town a few scares before finally succumbing 5-4 on penalties.

A cup quarter-final with an added derby element was never going to be a stroll in the park for Town as Cottesmore arrived in good form and set off with fire in their bellies.

Melton’s first chance arrived tafter six minutes when Reeve dummied the ball from a corner, but Fray’s snatched shot went just over the bar.

And within a minute the hosts hit the front when Rigby played in Thorpe who took his time to place his shot into the middle of the goal.

Cottesmore responded well and should have equalised when a corner beat the defence and found Seals at the back post, but he headed wide.

Rigby used his pace to get clear down the right and his back heel was met by Reek whoes first-time shot was inches over.

Reek was again inches over with a volley after Manship and Reeve combined as Melton made chances, while Cottesmore threatened on the break.

A misplaced pass among Melton’s back line put Seals clear on goal, but he shot wide.

Manship curled a 25-yard free-kick round the wall only for the keeper to tip it away, and when the ball was returned back into the box, Reeve cut the ball back to Reek who was denied by Smith’s brilliantl challenge.

The second half started with Amateurs on the front foot and they equalised with their first attack when Jordan Smith flicked the ball onto Stannard who composed himself before slotting under Towm keeper Peet.

Melton broke down the middle and found Reeve. The striker was driven wide, but his low cross had to be scrambled away.

Minutes later, Manship’s 25-yard free-kick hit the bar and the rebound was cleared off the line.

Cottesmore defended brilliantly and waited patiently for their chance, and it came with 20 minutes left when a defensive mistake let in Smith whose first-time shot forced a full-length save from Peet.

The end-to-end cup football continued, but the game went to penalties.

Manship scored first, low to the keeper’s left before Peet’s great save denied Stannard. Hill, Seals, Price, Smith, Rigby and Bendal all scored great penalties, leaving Leon Fray to send the decisive kick low to the left to put the hosts through.

Town: Peet, Rigby, Fray, Hibbett, Fray, Gilchrist, Hill, Manship, Reeve, Thorpe (Price), Reek (Lever).