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Highgate United 2 Pilkington XXX 1: Highgate go top after hard-fought victory

A hard-earned three points for Highgate from what was at times an unconvincing performance, a determined Pilkington close to snatching a draw from a couple of late chances.

A hard-earned three points for Highgate from what was at times an unconvincing performance, a determined Pilkington close to snatching a draw from a couple of late chances.

The win lifts managerless Gate to the top of what has become an extremely tight Division One table whilst at the same time extending their unbeaten run to ten games, a sequence recognised with the team of the month award for October.

Caretaker boss Ashley Pulisciano brought in Jordan Duncan to play at centre half in place of the unavailable Dean Curtis, whilst new signing Liam O’Shea made his first appearance on the bench.

Ricardo Richards had a couple of early attempts saved by visiting keeper Reece Francis and with the home defence troubled by the pace of Odane Barnes, Conor McCarthy found himself beaten inside his near post but Craig Oldfield’s goal was ruled out for offside.

Despite not firing on all cylinders Gate went in at half-time with a two goal cushion, opening their account on the half hour mark when Richards pounced at close range after Francis was unable to hold on to Tom Lacey’s powerful drive.

Chances continued to come and go after the break, Connor Mooney, Brown and Richards all bringing good saves out of Francis and centre half Scott Turner planting a header on the roof of the net.

Pilkington though continued to pose a threat, James Lorney close with a firm header before a defensive error presented Barnes with a 71st minute gift to reduce the arrears.

Turner should have done better than drag an excellent opportunity wide of an open goal, a miss which could have proved costly had Kyle Turner not wasted a golden chance to equalise following a determined run in the box and a late header not grazed the outside of McCarthy’s left hand post.

On Saturday Highgate are at home to Cadbury Athletic (3.00pm) and on Tuesday evening they entertain West Midlands Regional League side Dudley Sports in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup (7.45pm)

n Battling Knowle FC bowed out of the Les James Cup at the weekend, losing 3-1 to a very impressive Coventry Copswood side who are currently riding high in the Midland League Division 1.

 

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