FA Cup Preliminary Round
Highgate United 1 v 0 Boldmere St Michaels
HIGHGATE made hard work of beating a stubborn Boldmere St Michaels on Saturday to set up a tasty FA Cup first round qualifying clash against higher league opposition Leamington.
Gate had enjoyed far the better of possession against fellow Premier Division opponents Boldmere St Michaels and hit the woodwork twice before Macauley Manning scored a high quality winner in the final minutes of a game that looked to be heading for a replay.
There was just one change to the team which had beaten Shepshed Dynamo in mid-week, with Nathan Corry replacing the unavailable Dan Sullivan and Gate made a bright start with Lei Brown setting up Jak Keys whose shot was tipped over the bar by Lewis Fenney and Aaron Brown send a header into the goalkeeper’s arms.
At the other end Gate were thankful to Brendon Bunn for maintaining a clean sheet at the break, with the young keeper making a spectacular 42nd minute point blank save from Usher-Shipway’s volley from three yards out.
Within five minutes of the re-start it looked as though the hosts had found the breakthrough when Jeys beat goalkeeper Fenny in a race to the ball and chipped the ball over his opponent but his lob sailed off the top of the crossbar.
Despite Gate controlling play, the Mikes continued to threaten on the break with Bunn denying Ben Usher-Shipway and he was relieved when Stuart Capaldi wastefully fired the loose ball wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.
Manning smacked a 70th minute 35-yard shot against the face of Fenney’s cross bar before Brown was denied by Sweeney in a one-on-one situation.
With five minutes remaining any thoughts of a possible replay were forgotten when Isaac Jagroup headed on Bunn’s deeply struck goal kick and Brown played the ball wide of the box for Manning to race onto before calmly slotting his shot low beyond Fenney’s reach into the far bottom corner of the net.
Highgate’s reward for progressing is a home match against Leamington in the next round on September 3 but before then Boldmere make quick a return trip to Tythe Barn Lane for a league fixture this Saturday.