Highgate United 6 v 1 Lichfield City
A POWERFUL Highgate performance resulted in a convincing win over a Lichfield side making its first visit to Tythe Barn Lane, the visitors starting the afternoon in second place behind current leaders Littleton.
The only change made by manager Gary Birch to a side which had defeated Hinckley AFC a week ago was the return of Scott Turner at centre half, Nathan Edgington still not considered to have recovered enough from concussion for contention.
Gate got off to the perfect start with a goal after just three minutes, there seeming little danger when Ricardo Richards controlled a pass from the left eighteen yards out the striker firing an unstoppable shot arrowed high into the roof of the net well beyond the reach of goalkeeper Craig Johnson.
A second goal quickly came from Cameron Knight’s eleventh minute throw in, Turner nodding the ball on for Karl King to slide in and score at the foot of Johnson’s left hand post.
Highgate custodian Connor McCarthy reacted smartly with a save to keep out a Tom Essex shot which until the keeper’s intervention looked destined for the bottom corner, but Gate were well on top and extended their lead even further with a third outstanding goal from Lei Brown after twenty five minutes, Chris Bull’s 25th minute block on Connor Mooney’s shot falling to the centre forward for a first time half volley off the outside of the left boot rocketed into the back of a bulging net.
Richards’ had a headed attempt come back off the underside of the cross bar, Gate going in at half time with a three goal lead, but which was to be reduced after just thirty seconds of the restart when sloppy defending allowed Dan Thurstance to deliver a cross to the far post where Ahmet Biligmer forced the ball over the line from a rebound off the unlucky McCarthy’s body.
Lichfield’s response was to be short lived however, a fourth goal coming after 64 minutes, Martin Crawford finding Brown whose twenty five yard cross field pass was struck by Mooney past a well beaten Johnson.
Brett Fellows came on for Brown and was soon in action combining with Mooney to set up Richards for a close range header expertly tipped over by the keeper, Richards then missing what appeared to be the simplest of opportunities by sweeping the ball over an open goal.
The miss was soon forgotten when in 71st minute the margin was extended to four goals, Crawford arriving at the far post to stretch and turn in Nathan Pulisciano’s cross.
Richards was a foot too high from a twenty five yard free kick, but was to play a major part in the sixth and final goal when fouled in the box, Mooney stepping up to convert the 82nd minute penalty, leaving Gate comfortable winners and a third spot in the League table
On Saturday Highgate travel to play in form Bolehall Swifts at 3pm.