BROMSGROVE Sporting were left licking their wounds after being comprehensively beaten 3-1 by Highgate United.
Marco Adaggio gave the hosts a 21st-minute lead at The Coppice Ground before former Sporting defender Duane Courtney doubled United’s advantage midway through the second period.
Adaggio then struck again with 15 minutes to go to compound Sporting’s misery.
Jason Cowley did net a consolation on the stroke of full-time with a fine curling effort but that was as it got for Sporting who dropped to third in the Midland League Premier Division table.
Boss Paul Smith made three changes to the team which drew 3-3 at Westfields on Wednesday night, with Reece Francis, Craig Jones and Jack Wilson coming in for Brendon Bunn, Robbie Bunn and Aaron Roberts.
And Wilson got the game’s first chance in just the first minute but his low effort was parried by Bradley Catlow in the United goal.
Despite their good start, United slowly got themselves into the game as Josh Hawker watched a deflected shot from distance land into the grateful arms of Francis before Courtney blazed wide from 25 yards in the 17th minute.
Just four minutes later though, the Gate had their lead.
A pin-point cross from Connor Mooney found Adaggio in the centre of goal who could make no mistake from a matter of a few yards out.
And the former Worcester City striker should have doubled the lead moments later when he raced down on goal but he was denied by a fine save from Francis at his near post.
Sporting’s best chance of the game fell to in-form striker Sean Brain, who had bagged four goals in his last three games prior to today (Saturday), but he could only send a shot high over the bar after collecting Spink’s low cross.
Three minutes after the interval the woodwork came to the rescue of United as Jones’ glancing header from Sam Wills’ free-kick cannoned off the crossbar.
And the Rouslers continued to pile on the pressure but in the 65th minute they were dealt the ultimate sucker-punch.
Hawker’s drilled corner found an unmarked Courtney who powerfully headed home from six yards out, and the former Redditch United defender showed no fear in celebrating in front of the Sporting faithful.
More slack defending allowed United to all but seal the points 15 minutes from time as Adaggio pounced on Sporting’s inability to clear George Robbins’ cross to fire a low shot into the bottom corner.
The only bright spot on a difficult afternoon in Shirley was that Cowley scored the goal of the game as he jinked his way past a couple of United defenders before whipping a curling shot over Catlow and into the back of the net from all of 30 yards.