A PROVERBIAL game of two halves saw Highgate almost surrender a three-goal lead but they just about managed to hang on to secure a 3-2 win at home to Lye Town despite being reduced to ten men.
Lei Brown returned from injury to score twice and Connor Mooney capped off an excellent performance with a goal of his own.
But Lye Town took full advantage of two sending’s off for the hosts in the second half but they eventually ran out of ideas and were unable to breach a solid Highgate defensive wall.
The Highgate team included two new signings with Avun Jephcott starting in the heart of defence and David Yonwin started on the bench.
Brown got his side off to the perfect start when with just two minutes played he got on the end of a Shane Benjamin flick on to hook the ball into the net from close range.
At the other end Bradley Catlow was quickly out of his box to chest a threatening long ball to safety and Jephcott did well to halt Kieron Northwood’s run on goal.
But the second goal was soon to come when on the quarter-hour mark when Brown converted Benjamin’s cross from the left for his second of the game.
Gate continued in the ascendancy and goal number three came shortly after the half-hour mark. A quickly taken throw in by Nathan Pulisciano’s allowed Brown to touch the ball on to Benjamin who slipped his pass down the middle and Mooney raced through to finish in immaculate fashion.
Catlow did well to finger tip Nickle’s goal-bound attempt over the bar as the half ended with Gate on top and in control.
Immediately after the break Jephcott received a red card for speaking out of turn and Benjamin was sacrificed to allow substitute Dean Curtis to shore up a depleted defence.
The sending off was to prove the signal for constant Lye pressure and a test of character for the ten men.
Catlow was in action clutching Joel Caines’ long range effort out of the air but could do little to prevent Kevin Nickle reducing the arrears with a 57th minute shot directed low into the bottom corner of the net.
Brown could feel aggrieved not to have won a spot kick when blocked off in the box but things were to get worse when following James Cosgrove being dismissed for a second yellow card, a second Lye goal came after 63 minutes through Dan Flowers.
James Spray was too close for comfort from long distance and Lacey maintained his composure to head clear a threatening cross from under his own bar as the visitors pushed for an equalizer.
But Highgate held out for three hard earned points and they are next in action this Saturday away at Heanor Town.