NINTH-PLACED Highgate United finished off their 2015/16 campaign in disappointing fashion after losing 3-2 at home to Brocton in the Midland Premier Division.
Despite being the better team throughout the contest, Highgate lost out to a late Brocton goal after being reduced to ten men.
Gary Fife and Edward Booth had taken advantage of some poor Gate defending to give the visitors a two-goal half time lead but the home side fought their way back into the match after the break.
The lead was reduced just two minutes after the break when James Loney headed in Nathan Pulisciano’s cross at the far post and the equaliser came with 64 minutes on the clock with Curvin Ellis heading home Loney’s cross.
But Highgate were dealt a blow with 15 minutes remaining following the dismissal of Danny Rolfe and Brocton made the most of their one-man advantage with Fife completing his brace with a 15-yard drive that took a wicked deflection and that proved to be the winner eight minutes from the end.
It has been a similar story on Saturday after Highgate drew 3-3 at home to Bardon Hill but this time around it was Ashley Pulisciano’s side who scored late in the day to claim a point.
Lei Brown’s immaculately struck free kick seven minutes from the end earned Highgate a point against a side sitting uncomfortably in one of the three relegation spots.
The visitors from Nottinghamshire had enjoyed the better of exchanges in this low key penultimate game of the campaign and had an early penalty appeal turned down on 11 minutes before Michael Paparozzi gave the visitors a 16th minute lead thanks to a low 25 yard strike.
Highgate were soon back on level terms on 20 minutes with Brown scoring from close range but on 24 minutes the visitors re-gained the advantage Stephen Chaplin’s long range effort beat Catlow.
The hosts had chances to pull level early in the second half with Nathan Puliscanio and Brown coming close but it was Bardon Hill who scored a third through Chaplin again shortly after the hour mark.
Chaplin was near to what would have been a deserved hat trick with a header that flashed marginally high and at that point with Bardon looking far better organised there seemed no way back for a Gate side looking flat by comparison.
But there was to be a response. Brown saw his header on goal blocked on the line by an illegal handball and Ellis stepped up to score the resulting penalty.
With the momentum now in Highgate’s favour, the equaliser came seven minutes from time through Brown who fired home a 20-yard free kick into the roof of the net to rescue his side a point.