HIGHGATE United manager Russell Dodd says his side can look forward to a positive second half of the season after Saturday’s victory over Haughmond extended their unbeaten league run to seven games.
The Gate, who went 12th in the Midland Football League Premier League after the 2-1 win, struck twice inside the opening ten minutes through Isaac Jagroop and Stuart Hendrie, rendering Harry Morris’ 39th-minute strike a mere consolation for the visitors.
Speaking before Tuesday’s (7.45pm) trip to Long Eaton United, Dodd was left surprised by the lack of scoring after the blistering start.
“At one stage early on I thought we were heading for a goal bonanza,” he said.
“The visitors looked poor and we were playing some really good football, but then that feeling went to one of wondering whether we had peaked too soon.
“Our performance dropped off, and although we were the better of the two sides throughout, we made hard work of what should have been a far more routine and comfortable win.
“With a zero goal difference again, I would hope we are starting to build a solid platform on which to build for the remainder of the season.”
Hosts Highgate went into the fixture without the injured trio of Aaron Brown, Miracle Okanfor and James Wilcock, but looked more than capable of claiming all three points in their absence when storming into an early two-goal lead.
Both Jagroop and Trevor Edwards stung the gloves of Haughmond keeper Sam Jones, though the former made no mistake with his second opportunity when dispatching a header from Todd Yahiya’s cross into the corner.
Five minutes later and the lead was doubled when the goalscorer and Seegu Sebbeh Njie combined to feed the ball into Hendrie – who drove a shot inside the right-hand post.
The expected goal frenzy did not materialise, so the game was back in contention when Edwards conceded a 34th-minute penalty to allow Haughmond to halve the deficit.
Although James Beeson saved Morris’ spot kick, the playmaker followed in on the rebound to prompt an open second half.
Despite numerous chances falling their way, the Gate were unable to make their victory certain, rendering referee Jason Porter’s final blast of the whistle music to Dodd’s ears.
With no fixture this weekend, United are next in action at home to AFC Wulfrunians on Saturday January 18 (3pm).