HIGHGATE moved up to third in the Midland Football League Division One after coming away from fellow promotion hopefuls Bolehall Swifts with a well deserved point.
A dour contest resulted in a 2-2 draw between two of Division One’s top four sides but Highgate will be the happier of the two sides having gone into Saturday’s match without several key first team players.
Manager Gary Birch was left with a squad down to the bare bones and was without the likes of Nathan Edgington and Michael Batchelor who were unfit, the suspended Tom Lacey and both Craig Thomas and Alondo Lewis who have moved on to pastures new.
Birch named himself as a surprise starter up front alongside Lei Brown and with just one minute played a foul on the Highgate manager led to Brown firing a 20-yard free kick a foot high over Paul Hathaway’s cross bar.
But it was a Connor Mooney corner on seven minutes which led to the opening goal of the game with an opportunist strike from Birch sailing neatly into the bottom corner of the net after Hathaway had failed to deal with the in-swinging corner.
Martin Crawford glanced a header marginally wide and defender Ryan Millerchip hooked a shot from Birch off the line but it was the hosts who got back on level terms on the stroke of half-time. thanks to Lee Smith.
After the break David Yonwin dragged a powerful shot just wide as the hosts began to take command but ten minutes after the re-start Brown put Highgate back in front from the spot after being hacked down inside the Bolehall penalty area.
The lead however did not last long as their square defence was punished when Dave Boal was brought down by Nathan Pulisciano and Yonwin made no mistake from the resultant spot kick.
Both sides continued to create chances but there was to be no further goals as Highgate denied Bolehall their eighth consecutive win.
This Saturday Highate entertain Pelsall Villa (3pm) as they look to break into the top three.