TOWN EDGE LOCAL DERBY
Highgate's long unbeaten run ended by league runners up Coleshill
Highgate United 0 v Coleshill Town
Mykel Beckley's 61st minute goal was all that separated these two old foes at the end of an entertaining and keenly fought local derby, the win confirming Coleshill as league runners up to champions Alvechurch. The defeat puts to an end Highgate's previous twelve match unbeaten run and although a draw might have been a fairer result Gate remain in ninth place with just Saturday's home fixture against Coventry Sphinx to come. Needing the three points to ensure themselves a second place finish Town started strongly and with Gate struggling to retain any meaningful possession the first twenty five minutes were dominated by the visitors. Richard Bryan had an early let off with a back pass struck against the foot of Brendon Bunn's left hand post, coming straight back into the keeper's hands, Robert Evans heading a Thomas Weale corner into the side netting and Bunn making two excellent saves in quick succession to deny Beckley and Weale. A Dean Rathbone header smacked against the woodwork and with just twenty minutes gone the visitors could easily have been two goals ahead, Gate distinctly second best against a very good footballing side. Gradually though the hosts were to steady themselves and having survived considerable early pressure worked themselves back into the game, Josh Hawker having a good attempt deflected behind and after Aaron Brown had headed on Orrin Pendley's long throw Lei Brown's overhead kick beat keeper Paul Hathaway only to strike the underside of the cross bar. The pressure was now on Coleshill, Scott Turner heading a Hawker free kick into Hathaway's hands Hawker himself then guiding Romario Martin's square pass the wrong side of the post, the half ending goalless but with both sides having had the opportunities to break the deadlock.
H-T Highgate United 0 v 0 Coleshill Town
Gate made a promising start to the second half, Hathaway holding on to Pendley's firmly driven cross and Manning slipping a pass through caught under Martin's feet. Nathan Pulisciano set up Manning for a cross headed over by Lei Brown, Trevor Edwards winning the ball in midfield to go on a solo run eventually closed down by a couple of back pedalling defenders. Gate were at last playing some decent possession football but after Edwards had seen a drive deflected narrowly wide Gate were to be caught on the break Weale's shot striking the foot of Bunn's right hand post and forced in by Beckley following up. Gate continued in search of what was to prove an elusive equaliser, Martin and Aaron Brown both testing Hathaway from distance, Lei Brown then breaking down the left leaving Martin with a chance struck against the foot of Hathaway's right hand upright. A second yellow for Giovanni Dainty saw the visitors reduced to ten men but Gate unable to take advantage, going closest when Bryan's low drive was deflected behind for a corner from which Martin was to hit the woodwork for a second time, Gate finishing strongly after such a poor start to the contest but unable to reap the point their overall performance deserved.
Highgate United: Bunn Pendley Pulisciano Bryan Turner Brown A Edwards T Hawker ( c) Martin Manning Brown L Substitutes:Thomas Edwards D Hayward Cole Mason
Coleshill Town:Paul Hathaway Andre Gonzales Joshua Quaynor Thomas Weale Thomas Fishwick Robert Evans Reece Leek Craig Milligan Mykel Beckley Dean Rathbone Giovanni Dainty Substitutes: Dale Taylor Curvin Ellis Charlie Evans Charlie Shaw Dom Cotter