FOOTBALL: COVENTRY United produced a ‘smash and grab’ performance to come away from Highgate United with three points thanks to a first half free kick by Chris Cox.
United made the short trip over to Solihull on Saturday to take on 14th placed Highgate in what proved to be a fiercely contested fixture with the visitors coming away with a narrow 1-0 victory to move level on points with fifth-placed Leamington Khalsa in the Midland Premier Division.
Youngster Lewis Ison made his debut at centre back having recently joined the club following a move from the Strachan Football Foundation and the 18-year gave a very assured performance, demonstrating maturity way beyond his years.
Ison was supported by fellow centre back Jamie Coleman, with the United duo keeping Highgate’s new signing Luke Rodgers fairly quite throughout the match.
The visitors took the lead with 25 minutes gone when Josh O’Grady won a free kick just outside the Highgate area and while the crowd were wondering who out of O’Grady or Kevin Thornton would take it, Chris Cox stepped up to send a low bullet shot somehow past the wall and into the goal.
The goal allowed United to gain the upper hand and as Highgate frustrations began to rise they picked up a couple of early cautions.
The referee, maybe slightly muddled, blew up early for half time after just 39 minutes before consulting with his assistants, realising his mistake and calling the players back to play out the final few minutes of the half.
A long range effort from the hosts did little to trouble Rich Morris in the United goal as the visitors held a narrow one-goal lead at the break.
Despite reverting to a back four, both Ben Vallance and Pierre Moudime managed to attack with regularity from full back positions and it was the former who marauded down the left early in the second half before crossing for Ben Mackey whose flicked effort was saved well by Highgate keeper Brendon Bunn. Moudime, not to be outdone, progressed down the right flank himself before Bunn produced a more standard save to keep his shot out.
Williams to dragged a shot wide of goal before Highgate almost landed the sucker punch as the match entered the final stages when Lei Brown’s curling effort was clawed out of the top corner and onto the bar by Morris before Chris Cox cleared to relieve the pressure.
Williams’ pace was causing all sorts of problems for the home side and he raced through on goal twice more without success, knocking the first effort wide before Bunn once again came to Highgate’s rescue with an excellent save.
United take on Sporting Khalsa this Saturday looking to move up to fifth in the table.