GATE SUCCUMB TO LEAGUE LEADERS
So near yet so far for a Highgate side which pulled two goals back after finding themselves three behind at the break
Coleshill Town 3 v 2 Highgate United
Highgate gave a good account of themselves at table topping Coleshill but despite being on top for long periods went in at the break three goals in arrears, reducing the margin with two early second half strikes but lacking the final end product to come away with what would have been a deserved point. Town showed glimpses of why they are amongst the favourites for promotion, physically strong, quick on the break and having the confidence to shoot on sight, the visitors playing some neat possession football enjoying long periods on top and creating numerous half chances as well as surviving one or two hairy moments at the back. Both keepers were to be kept busy throughout, Brad Catlow outstanding for the visitors with opposite number Paul Hathaway his usual reliable self in preventing the conceding of further goals, Gate disappointed at the end result but with plenty of positives for manager Ashley Pulisciano to ponder over as after a run of six games on the road his side can at last look forward to a couple of forthcoming home fixtures. Richard Bryan returned to the heart of defence with Duane Courtney and George Curry part of the five on the bench, Gate starting brightly with Lei Brown heading on Scott Turner's long clearance but just too long for the chasing Marco Adaggio. After Connor Mooney had robbed Drew Alton in the middle of the park a foul on Lei Brown led to a Josh Hawker free kick hit straight into Hathaway's body, Catlow then in action racing off his line and out of the area to outmuscle Jordan Nadat. With his side continuing to be on top and nursing the ball well, Lei Brown was wasteful with a low drive struck wide, James Wilcock then crossing for Aaron Brown to head beyond Hathaway's right hand post .A Nathan Pulisciano speculative effort remained just that, Lei Brown setting up Mooney with the best chance so far fired against Hathaway's boots, Mooney following that by grazing the top of the cross bar from wide on the left. But with nothing having so far got beyond Bryan and Scott Turner at the back so Gate were to find themselves behind to a 17th minute goal scored totally against the run of play. Catlow made an excellent save from Nadat, Ryan Edmunds the first to react by hitting the twenty yard rebound low into the keepers bottom left hand corner. Pulisciano put Lei Brown clear for the chance of a quick equaliser a hasty mishit shot failing to trouble Hathaway but the hosts had been visibly lifted by the goal and with play now more evenly balanced doubled their lead in 25th minute when Dean Rathbone curled a twenty yarder beyond Catlow's reach and high into the roof of the net. To concede one goal was bad enough but to be two down after such a good start was somewhat beyond belief and things could have been worse when Catlow was forced into a brave double save from Reece Leek and Nadat. Aaron Brown hit a dangerous shot over the face of goal deflected behind for a corner and Lei Brown failed to get a touch following an exchange of passes between Hawker and Wilcock, Gate's play becoming sloppy but not deserving of conceding for a third time when a scramble in the box saw Catlow harshly punished for an alleged infringement seen only by the man in black, Rathbone tucking away the resulting 40th minute penalty. Leek should have done better with a shot despatched wide after strolling past half a dozen pink shirted defenders, Coleshill finishing strongly but flattered by the margin of their half time lead.
Coleshill Town 3 v 0 Highgate United.
Highgate faced what appeared to be an uphill second half task, but began in a positive manner with full back Vaughan Moulton defending well to get in ahead of Lei Brown at the far post. In 55th minute Aaron Brown cleared the bar from distance then headed Adaggio's cross into Hathaway's hands, a minute later patient build up play leading to a goal being pulled back. Hawker spread his pass wide, Hathaway parried Aaron Brown's powerful drive off substitute Correy Currithers' cut back, Mooney sneaking in to force the ball home under the prostrate keeper's body. Something to play for now, even more so when three minutes later the deficit was reduced to a single goal Hawker slipping the ball through for Adaggio to beat Hathaway with the gentlest and cleverest of lobs. Lei Brown looked to be clear only to be outnumbered by defenders, Aaron Brown curled a twenty yarder marginally high and with half an hour to go it was game on. Town counter attacked to good effect, Bryan twice getting in important tackles on substitute William Molesworth, Edmunds despatching a cross to the far post just too long for Matthew Gardner. Turner and Trevor Edwards both lifted balls high into the box with no one able to finish, Aaron Brown and Mooney then both having half hearted appeals for penalties waved aside. Curry was off target on the end of a Pulisciano free kick, Aaron Brown chesting down Bryan's long ball from the back swivelling just inside the box but well off target with the resulting shot. Although Coleshill were content to run down the clock time added on saw Hathaway smother an Aaron Brown header on the line and Catlow make yet another outstanding save from Leek, Gate failing in a valiant attempt at recovering from a disastrous twenty minute first half spell which left them empty handed at the end of what had been an entertaining contest.
Highgate United: Catlow Edwards (Courtney 78) Pulisciano Bryan Turner Brown A (c) Hawker Wilcock (Currithers 55) Adaggio (Curry 75) Mooney Brown L Substitutes not used: Rickards King
Coleshill Town: Paul Hathaway Joseph Pegg Vaughan Moulton Robert Evans Luke Edwards Drew Alton Ryan Edmunds Joe Halsall Jordan Nadat Reece Leek Dean Rathbone Substitutes: Matthew Gardner Liam Molesworth Sam Ford James Medford Jessie Race