THREE games in the space of five days proved too much for a Highgate side which dropped two points against struggling Coventry Sphinx in the Midland Premier League on Saturday.
Highgate played by far the better football and were on top for long periods on Saturday but a lack of composure in front of goal proved costly as they were made settle for a 2-2 draw.
Dale Taylor and Tom Lacey returned to the starting line up together with Brendan Murphy but injury and sickness ruled out Declan Attenborrow and Nathan Edgington.
The hosts started well and enjoyed much of the early possession. A foul on Murphy wide on the left lead to Scott Turner heading Lacey’s free kick behind and Trevor Edwards crossed into the box on 20 minutes which led to Taylor being brought down inside the area but Jack Hartopp saved Lei Brown’s penalty.
Inspired by the let off the visitors went on to enjoy a brief spell of pressure with James Cosgrove forced to defend Trey Braithwaite’s corner at the foot of the upright and the last of three consecutive corners was headed over by Ricky Fletcher.
Aaron Brown found the back of the net but from an offside position and Murphy released Lacey on the overlap for Hartopp to hold on to Brown’s header under the bar.
Gate were to be caught out by a 28th minute counter attack that saw Lewis Rankin race clear to give the visitors the lead with an unstoppable shot.
But the deserved equaliser came on 36 minutes when Aaron Brown cut inside and beat Hartopp from a seemingly impossible angle.
There was still time however for Sphinx to go in ahead at the break when Catlow brought down Michael Thomson inside the area on 44 minutes and Jackson Donnie tucked away the resultant penalty.
Sphinx started strongly after the break with Catlow turning Thomson’s free kick behind then he did well to parry a second effort from the same player but Gate worked themselves back on top and after Hartopp had smothered an Aaron Brown header, the equaliser came in the 63rd minute.
Ellis held the ball up well before spreading his pass to the right hand side where Cosgrove appeared at the near post to sweep home Murphy’s low driven cross.
Edwards and Cosgrove set up Ellis for a shot kept out at the foot of the post and an even better opportunity fell to Murphy only for Hartopp to stretch out a leg in making an excellent save.
Six minutes from time Sphinx’s Ryan Quinn was sent off after picking up a second yellow card and despite a late charge the home side were unable to score the winner their performance deserved.
On Saturday Highgate visit Sporting Khalsa (3.00pm) and on Tuesday evening Hereford are the visitors for a Polymac Packaging League Cup encounter (7.45pm).