HIGHGATE United continued their charge towards the Midland League Premier Division promotion spots with a 2-0 home victory over Derbyshire side Heanor Town on Saturday.
After The Coppice Ground side won the so often cursed Team of the Month for February award, the visit of the Lions proved to be a tough test for the Gate who were on a six-game winning streak.
And once again there were changes to the starting XI, with the absences of Duane Courtney and Aaron Brown meaning a return from suspension for midfielder George Curry, Trevor Edwards reverting to right back and new signings Jazz Luckie, John Onyeka and Steve Leslie joining Connor Mooney and Brad Hayward on the bench.
Highgate started brightly with Richard Batchelor going close with a 20-yard shot after 15 minutes which skimmed off target before James Wilcock was denied by Lions keeper Wayne White in a one-on-one situation.
Eventually the hosts’ pressure paid off and took the lead in the 20th minute in somewhat fortuitous circumstances when Wilcock’s cross from the right-hand side flew over White and into the top corner.
Despite falling behind, Heanor continued to be a threat going forward with Brad Catlow getting down low to deny Sam Wickers as Gate went into the break 1-0 to the good.
After the break Scott Turner twice went close in the space of a minute to doubling Highgate’s lead.
Firstly his header from Wilcock’s corner was saved before blazing over the bar from close range.
But it was not long until Highgate extended their lead when Marco Adaggio set up Richard Batchelor to drill home the second from ten yards out.
Heanor came close to reducing the arrears with 13 minutes to go but Shaun Roleston’s long-range effort cannoned off the crossbar while up the other end Nathan Pulisciano’s deflected shot narrowly missed the target.
White then had to be at his best to twice deny Adaggio from making it 3-0 before Joshua Bullock failed to bag a consolation in the dying moments when he could not drill in at the near post after racing clear on goal.
Fourth placed Gate’s clash at Coventry United on Wednesday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.