RUSSELL Dodd says all attention turns back to the Midlands Football League Premier Division, after Highgate United were eliminated from the FA Cup by his former Lichfield City side in a 3-2 defeat.
Goals from Connor Doyle and Shay Palmer hauled the Gate level after trailing 2-0 in the early stages, but a third goal from Luke Child’s to complete his hat-trick proved the difference in the extra preliminary round clash at the City Ground.
Dodd pointed to the impact had by the poor weather conditions, and felt Division One Lichfield dealt with the strong winds better.
“The wind was a great leveller,” he said.
“City adapted far better to the atrocious conditions and with them scoring twice in the opening ten minutes, we were always chasing a game.
“After we had pulled level, I felt we deserved to at least take to a replay.
“I am extremely disappointed, especially as one or two decisions didn’t go our way, but that’s the nature of football, and we must now concentrate on preparing for a number of tough forthcoming league fixtures.”
With Coleshill Town loanee Joe Cole recalled by his parent club, Dodd made just one change to his starting line-up, bringing in Danny Morris as the replacement.
Childs required just one minute to register his name on the scoresheet, after firing a strike past James Beeson, before picking out the corner of the net from the edge of the box ten minutes later.
With nothing to lose, the Gate went on the attack to try and haul themselves level.
Lei Brown was denied a goal to halve the deficit when his lob over Adam Jenkins was chalked off for offside, though Doyle’s finish just before the break quickly made amends.
A header from Marco Adaggio after the restart clattered against the frame of the bar, before Palmer met Doyle’s centre at the far post to level the tie.
Highgate pushed for a go-ahead goal, but again found themselves chasing the game when Childs cut in from the left and buried a drive in the 71st minute against the run of play, a goal that the visitors did not recover from upon being dumped out of the competition.
Dodd’s side are back in action at The Coppice on Saturday (3pm), when hosting Newark Flowserve, before visiting Walsall Wood the following Tuesday (August 20, 7.45pm).