MANAGER Russell Dodd paid tribute to his young side after they earned a hard-fought three points against Tividale.
Ryan Conlon, Seegu Sebbeh Njie and Miracle Okafor all registered on the scoresheet, helping Highgate move further away from the relegation zone and into 15th place in Midland Football League Premier Division.
It ended a run of 16 previous games without a win against Tividale.
Dodd was enthused by the workrate demonstrated by his team, and said: “It may not have been a classic, but every player worked his socks off to the end.
“The win was sealed late on, but it was no more than we deserved.
“We defended in depth when needed but apart from one brilliant save, [James] Beeson was rarely troubled in goal, our youngsters fitted in well and I was delighted for our three goalscorers, who between them have not enjoyed the best of luck this season.”
With a number of first-team players unavailable, starting berths were handed to Nathan Pulisciano, Harry Reece, Cameron Collins and Conlon, while a similarly youthful hosts bench was in place at The Coppice.
Highgate raced into the lead within the first minute of play when Reece looped in an inch-perfect cross for Conlon to flick a header over the visiting keeper Louis Connor.
Just six minutes later Tividale had parity following Tyrone Clarke’s tidy finish inside the area, a frustrating one to concede to dampen any early momentum.
Chances came at a premium, despite the fast start, as the game descended into a turgid affair for the remainder of the first half.
Even after the visiting custodian Connor sent to the sin bin to leave Tividale a man light on the pitch, Highgate were unable to take advantage as the game remained level at the break.
Gate made inroads into re-taking the lead after the break, with Okafor narrowly glancing Todd Yahiya’s cross wide.
Corey Currithers was then sin-binned for the hosts, though his ten-minute suspension failed to have an adverse effect on his teammates as chances continued to fall for the likes of Lei Brown and Trevor Edwards.
James Beeson was called into action down the other end to pull off an instinctive save, a crucial stop that allowed Njie to fire United back in front.
He did so in style, firing a speculative effort from just inside Tividale’s half into the roof of the net after Connor had kept out Mitchell Mollison’s free kick.
Forced to chase the game, the visitors pressed hard for an equaliser and were consequently caught out on the break, with Okafor put through on goal, rounding the goalkeeper and then tapping home to seal victory.
Highgate host Boldmere St Michaels on Tuesday night (7.45pm), ahead of Saturday’s (3pm) trip to Long Eaton United.