IT was a comprehensive defeat for Highgate against a very efficient Causeway side sitting comfortably in a mid table position.
The fourth from bottom visitors facing what manager Mark Burge admits will be a long hard slog during the second half of the campaign to preserve the club’s Midland Alliance status for next season.
The Highgate boss’ cause was not helped with the late withdrawal through injury of Dan Povey, the midfielder’s absence allowed a recall for striker Aaron Pinnock with Trevor Edwards returning for a starting place down the left hand side.
The disruption led to a sluggish start for Highgate who were soon punished for a series of mistakes when Carl Martin made the most of ‘keeper Shawn Hoccum’s error to give the hosts an eleventh minute lead.
Gate never recovered from such an early set back and with Causeway well on top for the remainder of the half the only real threat from the visitors was Liam Florey’s low ball over the face of goal with no one on hand to finish.
A better second half performance saw substitute Anthony Hopkins and Toby Checketts both well off target with ten yard efforts and Tom Stone and Hopkins both unable to get the final touch on Matt Collins’ and Danny Phipps’ crosses.
Whilst home ‘keeper Todd Henderson rarely looked troubled by an off colour Gate, Hoccum at the other end made saves to twice deny Danny Jones at close range before beaten late on by a brace from lively striker Aaron Lloyd which put the seal on a well deserved win for the home side.
On Saturday Highgate visit Dunkirk (kick-off 3pm) and on Tuesday evening travel to meet Coventry Sphinx (kick-off 7.45pm).