FOOTBALL: HIGHGATE came from behind against Shepshed Dynamo on Saturday to record their third home draw of their Midland Football League campaign, writes John Townley.
Following a mid-week win against Boldmere St Michaels, Ashley Pulisciano made three changes to the line-up with skipper Aaron Brown joining Scott Rickards and Conner Mooney in the starting team.
Despite Highgate’s resolute defence at home this season, their positive record of only five goals conceded at the Gate thus far was tarnished with only 13 minutes on the clock as Jake Betts and Liam Hurst got on the scoresheet for the visitors.
As Richard Bryan recovered from a misplaced pass in the middle of the park, it allowed for Shepshed’s second sight at goal, only this time it was more emphatic.
Michael Reeve rose highest on ten minutes to nod back into a crowded penalty area, initiating a melee in the box which saw Jake Betts score his seventh goal this season.
However, it only took three minutes for the East Midlands outfit to double their advantage as Highgate were again left to lick their wounds following Brad Catlow’s strike.
Ashley Pulisciano’s rally cry at the break paid little dividends as his side failed to create any goal scoring chances, and lacked intensity up until the 56th minute.
Shepshed’s Sam Preston saw red after an alleged stamp on McCauley Manning which resulted in a 45 minute period marred by controversy.
Despite the numerical advantage Pulisciano’s side had, the opposing defence stood strong up until the 80th minute.
Lei Brown manufactured Gate’s first goal as his powerful and determined run down the right wing meant Corry Currithers could tap in at the back post.
In spite of Shepshed’s tireless display, Gate found an equaliser two minutes from time when young substitute Reece Stanley stood up a weighted ball at the back post, where Scott Turner’s header found Brown at Denham Hinds right hand post.
Highgate dropped to 11th place in the league following the draw.
Pulisciano said after the game: “We need more up top, we need more movement, as the whole game was really flat for me.
“To be fair we’ve been lucky to get a draw against ten men.”