FOOTBALL: HIGHGATE manager Ashley Pulisciano was full of praise for his side after they beat Worcester City 2-1, writes John Townley.
After knocking Worcester out of the FA Vase just a week ago, Pulisciano’s men were looking to inflict back-to-back defeats on their midlands rivals.
Though George Curry and Isaac Jagroop were side-lined, 15-goal forward Lei Brown took his place on the substitutes bench, allowing Scott Rickards to play in an advanced role, heading the attack with Marco Addagio.
The visitors, confident in the early stages, created few scoring chances to threaten Bradley Catlow in the Highgate goal, despite their large share of possession.
Their lack of penetration in the final third would be punished on 19 minutes as Gate skipper Aaron Brown capitalised on Wayne Thomas’ and goalkeeper Mat Gwynne’s miscommunication in the box, as a result of a deep ball from Nathan Pulisciano.
Brown hassled the two and, from a tight angle, expertly chipped into the far corner.
Nathan Pulisciano – architect of the Gates first – could have doubled the lead as his bombing run down the left channel allowed him to meet Addagio’s cross from the right flank, and with Gwynne beaten, Wesley Lewis cleared off the line to preserve the one-goal deficit.
On the stroke of half time, Lewis’ heroic defending would pay little dividends as Gate won a corner from a fast break away.
Josh Hawker delivered a whipped cross at the near post where Scott Turner met the ball with enough contact to steer past the helpless goalkeeper.
Highgate deservedly led by two going into the break.
Ashley Pulisciano’s men started the second half as they left off as a wave of opportunities came in the 60th minute.
Firstly, Hawker’s long range effort arrowed past the post and took Gwynne for a bystander, whilst Addagio failed to capitalise on Conner Mooney’s vision to slide him through.
Out of character, with only the keeper to beat, the league’s top scorer clipped wide of the post.
As the game drew to its conclusion, Brown should have doubled his tally on the 82nd minute as his effort crashed against the woodwork, after Hawker won a free kick 15-yards from the goal.
To Pulisciano’s annoyance, the Gate lost concentration in the dying embers, allowing substitute Dave Reynolds to tap in from Josh Sarmento’s driven ball from the right wing.
Highgate now climb to seventh place with a game in hand over fourth placed Coventry Sphinx.
Pulisciano’s side are next in action against Rocester on Saturday before entertaining Paget Rangers in the JW Hunt Cup on Tuesday, November 28, at 7.45pm.