A BRACE from debutant James Cosgrove helped Highgate on their way to a comfortable 5-0 victory at home to Tipton Town in the first round qualifying of the FA Vase.
Cosgrove, who recently joined from Coleshill Town, replaced the injured Lei Brown and with Nathan Edgington, Trevor Edwards and Dean Curtis all unavailable, there were also starts for Karl King and Danny Lennon.
The hosts started strongly and opened the scoring after 14th minutes when Karl King scrambled home a half-cleared corner.
Tipton almost pulled level after striking the crossbar but Highgate took a two-goal lead into half-time after Daniel Lennon’s strong run and 30th minute cutback set up Shane Benjamin for a trademark, clinical finish.
Cosgrove scored the first of his brace with a 53rd minute long range effort which sailed into the top corner of the net and his second came three minutes later from a close range header.
Lennon completed the scoring and a comfortable afternoon’s work for his side two minutes from time by cutting in from the left to curl his shot beyond the reach of the well beaten visiting custodian.
In Division Two, Earlswood slipped to a thumping 5-1 defeat away at Hampton which leaves them stranded at the bottom of the table.
The home team took the lead when Gareth Parfitt headed home after a mix-up in the Earlswood defence.
Earlswood thought they had equalised minutes later but Alex Knight was flagged offside after being put clean through on goal and Matt Green shot over the bar.
But on 20 minutes Hampton increased their lead when Tom Craine cut in from the right and rounded Hancock before tapping the ball into an empty net.
Three minutes later a header by Earlswood’s George Stevens went just wide of goal but the visitors reduced the arrears after 26 minutes thanks to a Matt Seeley free kick which nestled into the corner of the net.
Hancock produced a great reflex save to deny the home side a third goal on 35 minutes but five minutes later the hosts went 3-1 in front when Liam Donaghy fired home unmarked.
Ten minutes after the re-start Alex Knight wasted a good chance when he shot wide of goal and substitute Steffan Brown headed narrowly over the bar.
But Hampton made their opponents pay when Adam Wormall tried to make a clearance but the ball hit a fellow defender and into the goal.
Hampton continued to press and with 15 minutes remaining Parfitt grabbed his second of the match to wrap up a comfortable win for the hosts.