HIGHGATE United hope to use Saturday’s FA Vase first qualifying round as a useful distraction to their mixed start to their Midland League Premier Division campaign.
Craig Woodley and Stuart Grosvenor’s side host Herefordshire side Wellington, who play in the Hellenic League, hoping to make amends for Tuesday night’s 2-1 reverse at Sporting Khalsa.
In what was their second league defeat of the season, and third in all competitions, Highgate were undone by a 70th-minute winner from substitute Joshua McKenzie after Romario Martin cancelled out an opener from the hosts’ Jake Gosling.
There will be plenty of plus points from United’s display though, notably their performance in the second half which possibly warranted more on the 4G pitch at the Aspray Arena
Returning loanee Bradley Catlow was back between the sticks for Highgate, after agreeing a deal from Halesowen Town, but could do nothing to prevent Gosling from opening the scoring on 13 minutes.
Martin was not prepared to let the hosts settle too easily though, and fired home from the spot 11 minutes later to tie things up at half-time.
United began to dominate proceedings with some fine football after the interval, but football is all about taking chances – so there was reason to feel hard done by when McKenzie provided the deciding goal.
After Highgate’s adventure in the Vase this weekend, they return to league action away to Boldmere St Michaels on Monday (7.30pm).