Lichfield City have advanced through to the third round of the FA Vase after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Highgate United, in a game which brought great goals and indeed a red card, started slowly as the nerves seemed to be getting to both sides.
Early on in the game, both sides were guilty of giving away possession early on before the game did eventually settle down with Lichfield creating chances through Max Dixon, who is off the back of a two-goal haul during last weeks 9-0 win over Uttoxeter Town. His early effort was saved by Highgate goalkeeper Alex Graham.
After a tetchy first half, Lichfield went in front through Tom Brown. After great work from left-back Joe Haines who fed the ball to Jack Edwards, his brilliant cross was headed by Brown, the ball looped over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Just two minutes after the goal, Lichfield had another shot, this time a wonderful effort from Sam Fitzgerald from 25 yards out from the right, he unleashed a wicked shot which cannoned against the crossbar.
After the flurry of chances, once again the game was touch and go, with a few crunching tackles from both sides going unpunished by the referee.
Luke Childs deputising at right-back was fantastic throughout and his shot was blocked, which was the main talking point from a quiet opening to the second half.
60 minutes in though, the game changed. Highgate United midfielder, Jamie Ashmore was dismissed for violent conduct after a collision with Lichfield defender Jamie Elkes, after a brief deliberation the referee decided to reach into his back pocket and show a red card.
Childs in the 80th minute made the game safe with a fantastic finish. The right-back for the day, picked up the ball on the right-hand side, he was twisting and turning looking to create a yard, and when he did, he made no mistake drilling the ball brilliantly into the bottom right-hand corner leaving Graham no chance to keep the ball out at his near post.
The goal sparked wild celebrations in the Lichfield end and Childs took the acclaim in what was a fantastic goal and a fantastic performance.
Two soon became three when substitute Joe Hartshorne came on and made an almost immediate impact.
After a Lichfield corner was headed up rather than out of the penalty box, Edwards contested and won the ball back. The ball eventually dropped to Hartshorne on the edge of the box, who shot brilliantly into the top left corner, Graham got a hand to it but it wasn’t enough.
The win for Lichfield means they advance to the third round of the FA Vase with the ties due to be played on Saturday the 11th of December.