FOOTBALL: HIGHGATE crashed out of the FA Vase as high-flying Coleshill Town put two past Ashley Pulisciano’s men, writes John Townley.
Pulisciano made three changes to his side with Lei Brown, Conner Mooney and club skipper Aaron Brown all returning.
Coleshill were looking to capitalise on Gates’ dismal end to November, and with only seven minutes on the clock the visitors felt they should’ve done just that.
Nathan Pulisciano, caught out by flying winger Ryan Edmunds on the right flank, lunged into a challenge on the edge of the box.
With the linesman flagging for a foul, the referee pointed to the spot – however the decision was overturned.
Highgate, having been given a lifeline early on, ended a quiet first half the stronger as Marco Addagio was sent on his way to score on his return to the squad.
He was thwarted by an intelligent intervention from Coleshill captain Rob Evans.
Ashley Pulisciano’s rally cry at half time paid dividends as the home side started as they left off.
An interchange of neat passing between Mooney and Addagio saw the ball spread across to Josh Hawker, who crafted a neat ball towards Duane Courtney on the right by-line.
The full back guided the ball back into Lei Brown’s path, only for the forward to uncharacteristically touch over.
Coleshill then broke the deadlock with 12 minutes to go when Dean Rathbone converted beyond Bradley Catlows left side.
His tidy finish meant Gate had little time to respond – but respond they did.
Five minutes from time, Lei Brown was awarded a penalty.
A high boot met the forward as he attacked an inswinging corner, meaning Hawker could dispatch the spot kick.
Late drama was already a theme of the afternoon’s tie, but Coleshill would be the side left in the hat for the FA Vase.
With Edmunds again causing chaos down the right flank, Rathbone doubled his tally as he met the drilled ball at the far post.
A cruel ending to a successful run in the cup means Highgate can now focus on league matters, starting next Saturday as they entertain 11th placed Westfields.