STRUGGLING Highgate United have been bolstered by the addition of former Chasetown and Rugby Town manager Dave Stringer to the club’s backroom staff.
Manager Russell Dodd has called upon the services of Stringer, a former ally at Nuneaton Griff, with the Highgate boss hoping to reconcile a successful partnership at the Midland Football League Premier Division side.
The pair will hope to address a losing run in the league spanning five games, a record worsened by Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Tividale, which pits the Gate third from bottom at present.
Dodd is confident that the backroom change can have an immediate impact on fortunes, and said: “I know Dave well and have brought him in for his vast experience, which hopefully will rub off on a young and relatively inexperienced side playing at this level of football.
“The one thing that really concerned me when reflecting on the game was the few chances created.
“The only time we seriously worried the home keeper was from three set pieces – one area amongst many which Dave and I will be concentrating on over the coming weeks.”
Highgate called upon Tamworth loanees Kyle Ambris and Guy Bayston from the start in Saturday’s game, while Matt Coton, an arrival from Bromsgrove Sporting, replaced James Beeson between the sticks.
But as has become customary in recent weeks for a side depleted by injuries, Highgate found themselves behind on 25 minutes when Tividale’s Dan Smith cut inside and drove the ball beyond Coton.
Lei Brown was twice denied in the opening half, first by the offside flag to rule out his strike past Louis Connor, followed by a save from the Tividale shot stopper on 37 minutes.
Instead, it was the hosts who were next to strike, doubling their lead before the break from Luke Carter’s rising free kick into the roof of the net.
Brown finally had the goal that his efforts deserved when converting from the spot five minutes after the break, but as soon as the deficit had been reduced, the gap was extended to two goals again.
An effort from 20 yards out from Tividale midfielder Brad Welding drifted into the net off the inside of the post, rendering Coton a mere bystander in goal.
Even when Highgate were awarded a second penalty of the game to put themselves back in contention, it became clear that it wasn’t to be their day, as Brown’s spot kick was batted away by Connor.
The task at hand gets no easier for Dodd and co., when hosting leaders Walsall Wood on Saturday (3pm).