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Gate boss confident ahead of Vase test

OPTIMISTIC manager Peter Frain is full of hope ahead of Highgate's FA Vase first round trip to Newcastle Town.

OPTIMISTIC manager Peter Frain is full of hope ahead of Highgate's FA Vase first round trip to Newcastle Town.

Despite suffering a home league defeat last week against Friar Lane & Epworth, Frain remained upbeat but is still looking for more from his team.

"We should be back to full strength on Saturday but we know it will be a tough game," he said.

"They are a very good team, but if we play to our capabilities we will beat them.

"Saturday was only our second defeat in eight games so we are heading in the right direction."

Gate recorded their first Midland Alliance win ten days ago when a hat-trick from Chris Gummery set up a 5-3 success at home to Bridgnorth Town.

However they couldn't take their good form into last weekend's fixture as the injury-ravaged side were beaten 3-1 at Tythe Barn Lane.

Kelvin Phillips opened up the scoring early on as the visitors charged out the blocks.

Louis Gibbons and Ross Trevor had sounded earlier warnings with two close efforts as Highgate struggled to contain the away strikeforce.

Five minutes into the second half and the game was effectively over for Gate when Phillips was given time and space to score his second from the edge of the box.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men when Friar Lane's Kris McDonald and Highgate's Luke Edwards received red cards before Steve Darlington pulled one back with just three minutes remaining.

However, the visitors quickly responded, scoring again deep into stoppage time through the outstanding Gibbons.

* AN IMPORTANT brace from Mykey Pryce helped Knowle distance themselves from the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Bartley Green on Tuesday.

The vital victory came three days after the Robins were toppled at the Beehive by Bolehall Swifts.

In midweek Knowle started brightly and the deadly partnership of Pryce and Scott Oliver proved too much for the visitors' backline.

After 25 minutes Karl Fellows sent a long ball over the top for Pryce to chase but the hot-shot collided with the Green goalkeeper who subsequently hobbled off injured.

Minutes later Knowle broke the deadlock as Pryce pounced on a Fellows free-kick that could only be parried by the stand-in keeper.

Just before half time the hosts doubled their advantage when Pryce grabbed his second of the evening after the away keeper spilled a powerful long range effort.

Green pulled one back in the second half but Knowle held firm to record the win.

The Robins take on Heather St Johns tomorrow in their third consecutive home game.

* A BRACE from prolific DJ Pitt helped Highgate's u16s see off Tamworth and banish any memories of last week's defeat.

The hosts were in control for the majority of the game and took the lead when Pitt headed in Kraig Harris' flick on.

Quick-thinking from the striker saw Highgate double their lead as Pitt took a free-kick while the Tamworth backline were still organising themselves.

After the break the visitors started to get back into the game and pulled a goal back through Robert Lea.

But despite late pressure the home side held firm and could have added to the score late on had Tamworth keeper Charlie O'Reilly not blocked Ryan Shemwell's strike.

* POOR children in Pakistan will benefit from Olton Ravens' generosity as the local club have donated their old kit to charity.

The club are replacing their strip this season and will be donating the unwanted sportswear to Birmingham Youth Services.

Craig Hunt, manager of the u11s team, said: "It's strange to think that children in another country will be bearing the famous raven logo - but it's also an honour."


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Cathrina Hulse
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