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Defender Deeney gives Albion helping hands as goalie

Tough-tackling centre-back goes in goal and pulls off 'some worldie saves' as Highgate battled it out to secure a 2-2 draw against The Wrongens

15 October, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Daniel Deeney didn’t hesitate to put on the gloves for Highgate Albion Reserves

COLOSSAL centre-back Daniel Deeney has already proved his worth at both ends of the pitch this season.

The tough-tackler has marshalled Highgate Albion Reserves’ backline with great authority to leave them within touching distance of top spot in Division One of the Barnet Sunday League. He has also proved a threat in the opposition’s penalty box, scoring in two of his last three outings.

But against The Wrongens on Sunday, Deeney, who lives in Somers Town, took his versatility to new heights when he put on the goalie gloves and filled in between the sticks.

“Five players dropped out on the morning of the match,” explained Highgate manager John Eager. “That included top-scorer Alfie Francis, who had netted nine goals in his last five games, and new goalkeeper Jonti Purdom, who I signed as cover for our regular keeper Graham Loki, who was unavailable at the weekend.

“I was down to the bare bones. I’ve always been fortunate during my time at Highgate that I’ve never had a bare 11 before, let alone five dropouts and no goalkeeper.”

Deeney didn’t need to be asked twice, and stepped in to save the day. He pulled off “some worldie saves” as Highgate battled it out to secure a 2-2 draw which leaves them just two points behind early leaders Northumberland Park Rangers.

And following his man-of-the-match display, hero Deeney said: “John asked me to do him a favour and go in goal, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“With lockdown we haven’t played much football since March so I’m willing to play anywhere. I pulled off a couple of crucial saves, and overall we did well with the players we had.”

With Deeney making key saves at one end, a clinical finish from Lee Scott and a penalty from skipper Daniel Glaude ensured Highgate picked up a point.

“It was a real nervy affair,” added Eager. “I fully expect us to be back to our best this weekend when we tackle title favourites AFC Oakwood.”

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