Berkhamsted and AFC Dunstable share the spoils in entertaining clash

�Michael Krinke Photography
�Michael Krinke Photography

Honours were even on Wednesday night as promotion rivals Berkhamsted and AFC Dunstable shared a 2-2 draw.

With back injuries ruling out Steve Hawes and Josh Chamberlain, and Dale Sears and Jack Copson also unavailable, Berko boss Mick Vipond was forced to reshuffle his team.

And things started badly for the makeshift Comrades side as Dunstable’s top scorer BJ Christie put his side ahead in the 15th minute after latching on to a long ball and finishing well.

Connor Calcutt and Jordon Frederick went close for Berko and an overhead kick from Lewis Rodrigoe looked like going in, but went just the wrong side of the post.

Dunstable held a slender 1-0 lead at the interval, but a burst of two goals around the hour mark changed the game.

A bullet header from James Towell from a fine cross by Calcutt produced the equaliser, before Ed Canham headed a Jamie Gavin cross back across goal and Calcutt netted his 10th of the season to put Berko in front.

The hosts responded well, however, and after some hesitation, the referee awarded them a penalty for a trip by Canham.

When the sides met earlier in the season a late penalty miss cost Dunstable dearly, but this time Kyle Lincoln took it and gave Tasker no chance with a fierce top corner shot.

Vipond made a double substitution, giving a debut to recent signing from Leverstock Green Adiel Mannion and introducing Ashley Morrissey.

Calcutt beat two men and cut in fro the left but his shot drifted beyond the far post.

Berko were fuming when Towell went clear only for the referee to fail to play the advantage rule and dragged play back 20 yards for a Berko free-kick, in what proved to be the last meaningful action of the game.

On Saturday, the Comrades entertain Hoddesdon Town in another league game and will be keen to avenge a pre-season defeat in the Herts Charity Shield when Town last visited.

Hawes and Chamberlain should be available to strengthen the squad.

On Tuesday, Berko go to Oxhey Jets for a 7.30pm kick-off in the Premier Division Cup.

Berko’s reserve team, meanwhile, have a Suburban League match at Newport Pagnell Town on Saturday and on Wednesday evening the U18s travel to Kings Langley in the Olympian Division.