HIGHGATE recorded an early season double over visitors Quorn in the Midland Premier Division thanks to goals from Ricardo Richards (2), Lei Brown and Tyrone Smith.
The home side produced an impressive performance despite the atrocious weather and the victory was based both on the balance of play and number of chances created, but it could well have been by a far greater margin.
There was little of note in the early stages with just David Hinds striking an early Quorn free kick behind and a half chance then fell to Richards only for a misplaced close range header to sail well off target.
The opening goal came after 35 minutes and with Gate in the ascendancy. Tom Lacey’s free kick headed across goal by home centre half Aaron Brown to where namesake Lei looped his own header into the far top corner of keeper Ryan Thacker’s net.
A quick counter attack was to lead to a second goal just seven minutes later. This time Lacey carried the ball into the box and squared his pass for Richards to tuck a 12-yard shot between Thacker and the keeper’s right-hand post.
The previously defensive-minded visitors came out after the break in a far more adventurous mood and came close to pulling a goal back in bizarre circumstances when Bradley Catlow’s fly kick struck the retreating Liam Turner to drift narrowly past the keeper’s left-hand post.
Highgate too had started well and after Aaron Brown had spread the ball wide, Mooney’s cross caused chaos in the 12 yard area with Thacker twice making point blank saves from Richards and Lei Brown hit the loose ball against the woodwork.
Catlow saved well to deny the visitors’ Liam Turner, Scott Staniland then rattled the woodwork from a 20-yad free kick and those two efforts proved to be the end of the visitors’ resistance.
There was to be no respite for what had become an under siege Quorn defence and the third goal came on 64 minutes when after Edwards headed an attempted clearance through to Lei Brown, Smith’s drive was parried by Thacker into Richards’ path with no mistake being made at the foot of the keeper’s right hand post.
An outstanding fourth goal came with 13 minutes remaining. Catlow’s long throw was controlled by Karl King and he passed on to Edwards who in turn picked out Smith and he chipped over the advancing Thacker high into the roof of the net.
The remaining minutes were totally dominated by the hosts but they were unable to find a fifth goal with Brown coming close again while Richards shots straight at the overworked Thacker who was again called into action late on to deny Richards his hat-trick.
On Saturday Highgate face a tough FA Vase Second Round encounter at Division One’s current second placed side Nuneaton Griff (3pm).