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Victory sees Gate into FA Cup preliminary

Highgate United 2 Willenhall Town 0

Highgate United 2 Willenhall Town 0

Highgate progressed through to the FA Cup First Preliminary Round and an away tie at Tipton following what should have been a far more comfortable win over fellow MFA side Willenhall Town.

A goal in each half from Ben Judd and Steffano Abonandi saw off stern resistance from the visitors who were forced to play with ten men for 60 minutes of the game after last man defender Joseph Lyng received a red card on the half hour mark for bringing down Reece Hewitt on a clear run to goal. Willenhall were further punished when Judd drove the resulting 18-yard free kick high into the roof of the net.

The visitors looked to have equalised in the 35th minute when Richard Gregory beat keeper Shawn Edwards with a low 15-yard drive only for the referee to blow for an offside. The second nerve-calming second goal came in the 54th minute when Abonandi was on hand to calmly stroke home a loose ball.

Buoyed by their Cup success Gate then crashed 6-2 away to Coventry Sphinx on Monday night.

The visitors had no answer to the hosts’ powerful attacking play, finding themselves three goals in arrears inside 23 minutes and four behind at the break.

Down but not out after leaking a fifth goal, Highgate rallied with two quick strikes around the hour mark, the first courtesy of home captain Terry Ward’s header into his own net, the second from a confidently taken penalty by Ian Mitchell after Trevor Edwards had been sent tumbling. But the two goals were to prove mere consolations and in the dying minutes substitute Aaron Donaldson finished off the scoring following a strong run and shot which Edwards no chance of saving.

On Saturday Highgate entertain Gresley (3pm) and on Bank Holiday Monday they visit Studley (3pm).

 

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