Florey stars to give Gate a vital victory

By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 07 January 2013 Updated: 08/01 14:10

Highgate United 2 Causeway United 1

Midland Alliance

LIAM Florey's last gasp goal gave Highgate a crucial three points against fellow strugglers Causeway United on Saturday.

Gate are unbeaten in their last three outings and the victory saw them climb out of the relegation zone and move up to 19th place in the table.

They had to dig deep to secure the three points though as they produced an unconvincing display which, particularly in the second half, saw the visitors on top for long periods.

Boss Keith Checketts started with the same line-up for the second successive game with Liam Florey and Jake Brown both having recovered from what turned out to be minor knocks with DJ Pitt returning from a one-game suspension to take his place on the bench.

Although Causeway were looking the livelier of the two teams the best chances fell the home side's way in the early stages with Elroy Bennett twice missing the target and Jake Brown also going close after good work from Karl King.

At the other end, Shawn Edwards produced a fine save at his right hand post to keep out a quickly taken free kick before Gate countered and forced Tom Turner to tip King’s header from Trevor Edwards’ inswinging cross over.

Causeway’s Steve Poole was unlucky with a header which went behind off the top of the bar but following a messy period of play, and after Chris Seekings had put a golden chance the wrong side of Edwards’ goal, it was Florey who opened his account in 40th minute, robbing a hesitant defender to go on and coolly plant the ball beyond Turner’s reach low into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Despite having their noses in front, Gate failed to get to grips with the game during what was for them a disappointing second half, unable to keep possession and giving the ball away far too easily to opponents who looked dangerous every time they ventured forward.

Howe proved wasteful at the far post and Tom Turton was just inches away from getting a final touch on Adam Meacham’s driven cross but the inevitable equaliser came on the hour mark when Howe had the easiest of tasks in turning in the equaliser at close range off another Meacham cross.

Forced to withstand constant pressure for the next 20 minutes, Gate’s play only came alive again in the final 15 minutes, the winning goal left to the last kick of the game when substitute Jamie Smith’s persistence set up Neil Kitching for a shot blocked by Turner allowing the alert Florey to sweep in the loose ball at the foot of the far post.

Gate travel to Tipton Town on Saturday (3pm) before entertaining Westfields in the quarter-final of the League Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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