Highgate (A) 18/19
Highgate United FC v Coventry United FC
Midland Football League Premier Division
Date: Wednesday 28thNovember 2018
Venue: The Coppice
Well hello one and all. After the disappointment of the 2-1 defeat to Stourport Swifts on Saturday, United tonight have the opportunity to put things right with a midweek away encounter against Highgate United. This fixture is always a really tough one for United and I’m sure that won’t be any different tonight.
Highgate are having a similar start to their campaign as United are and currently sit two places and 2pts ahead of United in the table though having played a game extra.
A victory tonight would do the team moral no harm as they prepare for probably their biggest game for a long time with the FA Vase cup 3rdround game against Hinckley AFC on Saturday.
The referee gets the game under way and the game has a great early tempo to it as both teams look to get a grip of the game. Both teams cannot hold on to the ball for any length of time giving it away cheaply too often. The first decent effort at goal comes in the 13thminute when Highgate press and a through ball sets up the No9 Marco Addagio but shoots wide of the target.
United though soon after start to get the ball forward more quickly with a more direct style and it soon pays off when United’s Curvin Ellis flicks the ball through for Kyle Carey to run onto. Carey rides a couple of tackles before getting back to his feet and stabbing the ball over for the opening goal of the game in the 20thminute.
HIGHGATE 0 UNITED 1
That’s a good start for United and hopefully that goal will settle them down. It seems to have the desired effect as they start to concert some sustained pressure on the Highgate defence. They press again with pace down the right with Joe Cairns who jinks his way into the centre from a wide position before sending his shot just wide of the target in the 26thminute. United break again in the 27thminute and Curvin Ellis is played through into the area. As he tries to go around the keeper he seems to be upended but the referee plays the advantage as Joe Cairns is on hand to stab the ball home from close range to double their lead.
HIGHGATE 0 UNITED 2
A great advantage played there by the referee and United grabbed it with both hands to double their lead. Some of the Highgate lads are starting to get on each others backs as things are not quite going to plan for them at the minute.
United continue to see more of the ball until the 36thminute when Highgate win a corner. It’s taken by the impressive No8 Macauley Manning who in turn picks out the No11 Romario Martin who sends his shot goal wards but thankfully United’s keeper Brendan Bunn clears the ball off the line with his feet.
United though finish the half strongly and in the 43rdminute they create a fantastic chance as a Ronee Hendricks by line cross picks out Jake Holt who sees his fantastic volleyed shot superbly saved by the Highgate keeper Brad Catlow to deny what looked like a certain goal. Soon after the referee blew up for half time.
HIGHGATE 0 UNITED 2
The second half gets under way with neither side making any changes during the break. United continue to look in control and are soon looking to add to their tally. They press forward in the 51stminute when Kyle Carey and Arum Soleman link up really well ending with a crisp neat finish by Soleman but the goal is ruled out for offside.
A few minutes later the first booking of the game is issued to the Highgate No5 Dan Preston for a hand ball in the 53rdminute.
Soon after the first change of the evening comes when Highgate take off the No7 Corey Curruthers and send on the No15 Duane Courtney in the 55thminute.
United are still looking good for their lead and are dealing with anything that Highgate have to offer. United press forward again in the 59thminute when a long through ball sets off Kyle Carey into the area before his low angled drive leaves the Highgate keeper Brad Catlow stranded as it nestles into the net to surely seal the points for United.
HIGHGATE 0 UNITED 3
That was a cool finish by Carey to claim himself a brace. The game resumes and soon after a double booking comes after an off the ball incident between United’s Gift Mussa and Highgate’s No10 Lei Brown in the 62ndminute. Then United’s Ben Vallance earns himself a rare yellow card for a late sliding tackle in the 66thminute.
This half is seeing lots of stoppages that is disrupting the flow of the game a little and more changes come in the 67thminute when Highgate take off the No4 Richard Bryan and send on the No16 Dylan Barkers. United follow suit in the 73rdminute when they take off Ronee Hendricks and send on Debutant Callum Swaine. Then a rare Highgate attack sees the No6 send his header straight to the United keeper Brendan Bunn for an easy gather in the 78thminute.
More stoppages are not long in coming as United take off Curvin Ellis and send on Shaquille McDonald and Highgate take off the No11 Romario Martin and send on the No14 Todd Yahiya in the 79thminute.
With the game now into the last 10 minutes United make their final change in the 81stminute when they take off Arum Soleman and send on Michael Wright. Then with the game in the last minute Highgate press for the final time when the No9 Marco Addagio sends his header wide of the target from a deep cross in the 90thminute. Soon after the referee blew up for full time and United claim the points and should be buoyed up for the mouth watering cup clash against Hinckley AFC on Saturday.
HIGHGATE 0 UNITED 3
In summing up this game I would have to say A GREAT COMMANDING TEAM PERFORMANCE. United once they went in front settled down well and started to take control of the game. They dealt with the Highgate threat really well and went into the break with a two goal lead.
The second half was much the same though with Highgate offering very little going forward as the United defence stood up well to what came their way. They then scored a good goal to seal the points and comfortably saw the rest of the game out to claim a welcome 3pts.
Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Highgate No8 Macauley Manning. He showed plenty of skill and confidence on the ball and always looked dangerous in attacking positions.
For United this was a great team performance that they so dearly needed leading up to probably their biggest game of the season so far on Saturday. Jamal Clarke stood up to be counted at the back and was constantly orchestrating proceedings with his vocal instructions throughout the game. Jake Holt had a great solid game in the midfield and was unlucky not to score a screamer of a goal with his attempted volley. Kyle Carey showed his pure class and perseverance to grab himself another brace but for me tonight my man of the match goes to Luke Downes. Luke tonight was fantastic, he stood up strong against some big lads in that midfield battle and broke up many of what Highgate tried to create in the way of chances and was also able to thread a mean pass or three to set his team on the offensive so well played Luke Downes.
Next up is Hinckley AFC in the FA Vase 3rdround, see you all there.
Match stats United Highgate
On target (7) (2)
Off target (3) (4)
Corners (2) (1)
Free kicks (17) (14)
Yellow cards (2) (2)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (4) (2)