A set back for Highgate’s survival hopes as an efficient Boldmere finished comfortable winners.
Following three games unbeaten there had been a pre-match sense of optimism in the home camp but after an unrewarded ninety minutes this had been replaced by an air of despondency, and with just six games remaining and five points adrift of nearest strugglers Alvechurch a big push is required if MFA status is to be maintained. The battle begins with Saturday’s fixture at Dunkirk, who make the return trip to the Coppice just over a week later, with a difficult away meeting with Stratford Town on Monday afternoon. Joshua Allen-Noble’s injury combined with work commitments for Dave Timmins and Dan Povey left manager Keith Checketts with changes to make, Karl King starting in a central midfield role and Trevor Edwards dropping at left back in place of Jamie Corrigan rested on the bench.
Gate though got off to the worst possible start failing to defend Simeon Tulloch’s early corner, the low cross skidding on the wet surface through a group of players leaving full back Richard Robinson with the simplest of close range tap-ins. Oliver Casey was unable to get a touch on Dan Dineen’s cross and Elroy Bennett did well to bring down and control Dineen’s pass only to hit the resulting shot wide. Although there was little to choose between the two sides Boldmere had a slight edge in possession, Lawrence O’Neill going close to extending the lead by rounding keeper Shaun Edwards but only able to find the side netting.
Opposite custodian Chris Butler rose to comfortably hold King’s far post header but until the final few minutes of the half there had been little threat from the home attack. Trevor Edwards had earlier fired a yard high of the visitor’s bar from long range before two chances came in quick succession which might have put the hosts on an equal footing at the break. Simon Bradbury saw his determined attempt cleared off the line the loose ball falling nicely for Casey whose follow up shot flew a foot wide. An even better chance fell to Steve Jackson who neatly controlled Edwards’ pass in the box with the resulting shot on the turn sent narrowly off target. Having kept their noses in front Boldmere stunned the home side with a goal five minutes after the restart, O’Neill finishing in composed fashion after Tom Law’s drive had come back off the woodwork.
Butler did well to save from Jackson at the foot of his near post and King threw himself forward to depatch a good header wide, but it was the visitors who once again gave a lesson in finishing when in 75th minute Jozsef Jakab firmly headed in goal number three. Bennett, King and Casey all tested Butler late on but to no avail, the scoring completed in the dying minutes when Stuart Capaldi broke clear to give Edwards no chance with a first time clinical finish.
S.Edwards; T. Edwards; Dineen; Florey; Bradbury; Checketts; Casey (C.Checketts 88); King; Bennett; Jackson ( Corrigan 77); Edgington Substitutes not used: K.Checketts; D.Mulholland
Boldmere St Michael:
Chris Butler; Richard Robinson; Peter Gould; Levi Bailey; Neil Watkins ( c); Chris Milner; Simeon Tulloch; Joseph Smith; Lawrence O’Neill; Tom Law; Dominic Reece; Substitutes: Tom Stevenson; Jozsef Jakab; Stuart Capaldi; Andrew Lewis; Ben Usher