17th Sep, 2019

First-half comeback condemns Highgate to first MFL Premier Division defeat of the season

Ben Tyler 19th Aug, 2019

MANAGER Russell Dodd felt his makeshift Highgate United side fared well, despite falling to a comeback from visitors Newark Flowserve for their first defeat in Midlands Football League Premier Division on Saturday.

Shay Palmer’s 31st-minute opener was immediately cancelled out, before Newark took the lead on the stroke of half-time – one which they did not relinquish.

Dodd was nevertheless pleased with the efforts of his side, and said: “Despite losing to a very well organised and direct Newark side, I felt that despite being lightweight and inexperienced, we competed well and enjoyed more than our fair share of territory and possession.

“A couple of decisions went against us and without being overly critical, I would consider lazy defending led us to conceding the two goals.”

Highgate went into the game without seven first-team players, leading to two debuts for Kartel O’Neil-Martin and Marsel Isai, who are on dual registration contracts from Halesowen Town.

The Nottinghamshire side piled the ball forward at every opportunity, but the hosts did well to sustain the threat before going in front through Palmer’s header from a Connor Doyle corner.

But in the space of a minute, the scores were level when Tom Potts headed in from a corner, after being left unmarked.

Then, with two minutes of the half remaining, Kyle Dixon weaved through the Gate defence and slipped the ball inside the post to complete a quickfire turnaround.

While Gate improved after the break, they were unable to beat Joseph Searson-Smithland a second time, with James Wilcock’s strike against the bar the closest the hosts came to a leveller.

Highgate are next in action with a double header at The Coppice, starting with  Tuesday night’s (7.45pm) game against Walsall Wood, before a Bank Holiday Monday (3pm) meeting with Coventry United.

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