Highgate go into the New Year maintaining their position at the top of the MFL Division One table, eight points clear of second-placed Bolehall Swifts, but with Bromsgrove Sporting mounting a strong challenge with games in hand.
Boxing Day’s win at Lichfield took Gate’s points tally for the season so far to 50 but they were made to work hard to overcome determined hosts, with just James Lomey’s 39th-minute goal separating the two sides.
Caretaker manager Ashley Puilisciano was forced into changes to the line-up which, thanks to a Lei Brown brace and a second-half strike from Josh Hawker, had defeated third-placed Uttoxeter 3-1 the previous Saturday.
Hawker’s unavailability and an injury to centre-half Dean Curtis meant starting places for Lomey and Liam O’Shea.
Gate started positively, with keeper Jon Clough saving from Martin Crawford and Lei Brown.
O’Shea went closest to breaking the deadlock with a curling attempt off Trevor Edwards’ pass deflected behind off the top of the crossbar.
It was Gate who enjoyed the majority of play and they went in at half-time with their noses in front.
Connor Mooney’s free-kick, awarded for a foul on O’Shea, found Lomey alone at the far post to despatch a downward header bouncing high into the roof of the net.
The second half deteriorated into a scrappy and at times feisty affair with clear-cut chances few and far between.
* On Saturday, Highgate are at home to AFC Hinckley (3pm) and on Tuesday evening they travel to Studley for a rearranged Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup encounter (7.45pm).