September 26th, 2016

Winning streak ends for Highgate following back-to-back defeats

Updated: 6:56 pm, Aug 31, 2016

IT WAS a Bank Holiday weekend to forget for Highgate United as they slipped to back-to-back defeats in the Midland League Premier Division.

Highgate could not have got their weekend off to a worst possible start after finding themselves on the receiving end of a 6-0 thrashing at home to Boldmere St Michaels as a run of three consecutive wins came to an abrupt end.

The visitors made the most of a one-man advantage and capitalised on defensive errors to record a comfortable victory.

With manager Ashley Pulisciano away, stand-in boss Lee Adams was forced into a series of changes with Marc Bonazebi, James Loney and Reece Mitchell replacing the injured Joe Cole, Brad Mutivbo and Nathan Pulisciano, while there was a welcome return to the bench for Connor Mooney.

Gate started well enough with Lei Brown and the adventurous Mitchell missed the target while Declan Attenborrow’s through ball was just too long for the chasing Brown.

Macauley Manning sent a shot drifting wide of keeper Lewis Feeney’s left-hand post and Feeney then did well to save Josh Hawker’s 30-yard free kick at the second attempt.

The visitors had posed little threat and Gate came closest to breaking the deadlock when Brown headed down Hawker’s 22nd minute corner and Isaac Jagroop lashed the pass into the side netting.

It was to go horribly wrong though on 25 minutes when a mistake at the back let in Stuart Capaldi for the opening goal and things went from bad to worse when Manning was dismissed five minutes before the break for a second yellow.

Two minutes later Brendon Bunn then conceded a bizarre own goal as he attempted to chest down a harmless long range effort.

Boldmere picked up where they left off after the break with Ben Usher-Shipway hitting the woodwork early on before a third goal came on 55 minutes when Alister Brauns delivered an inch perfect cross for Harry Craven to stab home.

Five minutes later Brad Lindsey waltzed through unchallenged to hit home number four and in a rare Gate attack Brown brought a save out the untroubled Feeney.

Lindsey turned in Usher-Shipway’s cross for number five and in 76th minute substitute Ged Oldnall rounded the keeper to complete the rout.

Gate had a chance to bounce back straight away at home to Alvechurch on Monday and although they showed improvement, the hosts were outdone by the league leaders 3-0.

Gate had their chances in a first half in which the visitors had the edge with Isaac Jagroop, Brown and Jak Jeys all unsuccessfully testing keeper Paul Evans.

However the visitors looked lively on the break and went into half-time with a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from Josh March.

The second half was far more evenly balanced with Macauley Manning unlucky with a shot deflected along the goalline and beyond the far post while a Josh Hawker cross came back out off the top of the cross bar.

Jagroop and Karl king were close to forcing the loose ball home in a goalmouth scramble but Alvechurch were to seal their ultimately deserved win with a 78th minute Jamie Spencer header.

This Saturday Highgate return to FA Cup cup action when they entertain Leamington in the First Round Qualifying.

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