HIGHGATE United’s recent struggles continued against an Ilkeston Town side gunning for promotion, losing 4-1 away at the New Manor Ground in MFL Premier Division.
Ashley Pulisciano’s side enjoyed lengthy spells of possession throughout, but could not impose themselves on the game and were forced to pay for too many defensive mistakes.
Returns to the starting 11 were handed to Shay Palmer and Sam Oji, who had been previously missing through suspension, whilst Nathan Pulisciano also made a start.
The visitors were almost behind immediately following a poor back pass which sent Ilkeston’s Alex Marshall through on goal, but Brad Catlow batted the ball away for a corner.
Down the other end, Richard Bryan went close with a free-kick, whilst Palmer’s whipped cross dangerously flashed across the face of goal and narrowly past the post
Catlow had to stay alert to keep out Kyle Dixon with a low save, before a corner kick sent over towards Palmer was headed narrowly off target.
The hosts went ahead just before the half-hour mark, when an attempted clearance hit a Highgate player and fell fortuitously to Jermain Hollis to put the ball away.
Ilkeston were a goal-line clearance away from making it two, but equally could have been level after Jordan Goddard’s free-kick, and then Stefan Moore’s follow-up were kept out.
A second goal conceded just before the break was the last thing Highgate needed, but it left them with a mountain to climb after half-time.
Reco Fyfe latched onto a long punt downfield by the goalkeeper which was misjudged by the Highgate defence, which he promptly fired into the net.
The Robins were the stronger side in the second-half and made it three when Elliott Reeves curled the ball into the roof of the net, although Marco Adaggio’s close-range finish narrowed the gap five minutes later.
Despite some sustained pressure following the goal, Reeves’ second of the game condemned the Gate to a spirited, but ultimately convincing defeat in Derbyshire.
Highgate are out of action this weekend, but next face a JW Hunt Cup semi-final against Atherstone Town, played at AFC Wulfrunians’ Castlecroft Stadium.
The next league game on April 20 at home to Shepshed Dynamo is then followed by a trip to Stourport Swifts on Bank Holiday Monday later in the month.
Meanwhile for Highgate’s under-21s, they lost out in the final of the Birmingham FA Saturday Cup to Tamworth U21s, after Dilano Reid, James Medford and Lewis Kelly goals condemned the Gate to a 3-1 defeat – with Chris Dyson firing the consolation from the spot.