First Team - Report
|Highgate United||2||vs||2||Heather St Johns|
AS SWEET AS CANDY FLOZ
Two brilliantly executed goals by Edgington and Florey ensures a nailbiting finish to the MFA Season. Report by Neville Sawyer
Steve Jackson returned to the starting line up with Nathan Edgington dropping to the bench for a game both sides were desperate to win Heather having been dragged into the relegation zone over recent weeks, sitting just three points above Highgate but with an inferior goal difference. Both teams looked nervous during an untidy start but Gate were first to stamp their authority on the game, Dan Dineen firing an early 30 yard free kick over the bar and Trevor Edwards setting up Jackson for a cross despatched wide by Dan Povey. Povey then found himself back defending nicking the ball off Troy Wallen’s toes as the front man shaped to shoot, but in enjoying the majority of possession Gate created two good chances around the quarter hour mark.
Jackson found himself clear but forced wide and outnumbered by defenders was unable to make the most of a clear goal scoring opportunity, Dineen’s resulting corner then headed inches wide by Simon Bradbury. Jackson broke away again just minutes later rounding stranded keeper Louis Connor but unable to find space for an attempt on the unguarded goal, Elroy Bennett then wasteful from twenty five yards with an effort hit yards high over the bar. Despite playing the better football and creating the majority of what were half chances Gate found themselves behind with fifteen minutes of the half remaining, a defence slow to react to the advancing Paul Reddish punished when Chris Lewis lifted the perfect through ball over Shaun Edwards’ body for the opening goal.
The hosts had paid the penalty for a disjointed period of play and could have been further behind at the break when Wallen fired over from a good position on the right hand side. The second half started in the worst possible fashion Heather strolling into the Highgate box where Richard Lewis rolled the ball beyond Edwards’ reach to increase his side’s lead.
First to every ball and rarely troubled by a disappointing Gate attack Heather seemed to be well in charge but were to be rocked by an inspired double substitution when Nathan Edgington and Liam Florey replaced Povey and Corrigan. Edgington played a big part in the 64th minute goal which reduced the arrears playing a neat one two with Jackson before calmly looping the ball over Connor into the roof of the net.
Bradbury guided Dave Timmins’ pass a foot wide of the upright and with the visitors on the back foot Timmins played the ball wide for Florey to cut inside and lob Connor for the 70th minute equaliser. Heather were close to being back in front with a David Yonwen header inches off target as both teams went in search of the elusive winner. Bennett wasted a good opportunity dragging the ball wide of the near post and Connor rose to catch Ollie Casey’s high up and under, but Gate were to be thankful to Edwards for keeping them on level terms late on the keeper diving low to turn Richard Lewis’ close range flick for a corner, Heather satisfied with the point which ensures for them another season of MFA football.
S.Edwards; Corrigan (Edgington 60); Dineen; T.Edwards; Bradbury; Checketts; Casey; Timmins; Bennett; Jackson; Povey (Florey 64) Substitutes not used: D.Hughes; Abonandi
Heather St John
Louis Connor; Harrison White; Lee Reynolds; Jonathan Mills; Ryan Jarvis; Paul Reddish; David Yonwin; Sam Carline; Richard Lewis; Troy Wallen; Chris Lewis Substitutes: James Jennison; Kelvin Phillips; Michael Bloor; Jack Robinson; Daniel Gilligan