Berko share the spoils with fellow promotion chasers

Berkhamsted v Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Ray Canham
Berkhamsted v Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Ray Canham

Promotion chasing Berko and Welwyn Garden City shared a point apiece in a closely fought, physical 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The clash between two of the top three in the SSML attracted Berko’s best crowd at Broadwater this season.

Berkhamsted v Welwyn Garden City.  Picture: Ray Canham

Berkhamsted v Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Ray Canham

Berko made six changes from the 11 that won in midweek and started well. Ashton Campbell should have done better than head wide after a fine Alex Campana cross, once Ashley Lewis had sprayed the ball wide.

The Citizens defended determinedly, twice kicking off their own goal line. A long shot from Steve Hawes was saved too.

At the other end Ant Ladyman fumbled a shot from Lewis Endacott who had ventured forward from full back, but the loose ball was cleared. Sam Doolan had to retire hurt in a bruising battle.

Ten minutes before the interval, Campana was brought down in the box to earn a penalty at the railway end. Welwyn’s Ollie Leslie saved it but Campbell was first to the rebound and netted to give Berko the lead.

However, Lee Armitt equalised eight minutes later from close range whilst Berko appealed in vain for offside.

Both sides tried hard to net the winner in the second half. A misplaced back pass from Jack Stevens almost let City in but Ladyman saved and the danger was cleared. Tom Carter hit the side netting with a chance that was set up by Campana. Substitute Max Farrelly got up well but his header went over.

The best chance to score fell to Campbell who outpaced the defence but shot wide with just Leslie to beat. Campana set up several more chances but Leslie saved from Lewis and Dan Weeks fired over that bar at the canal end as Berko finished strongly.

Berko: Ladyman, Smaldone, Weeks, Stevens, Baldry, Rodrigoe, Lewis.(Bonner),Hawes (Farrelly), Campbell, Campana, Carter(Odeh). Subs Not used Canham & Jowle.

On Saturday Berko go to Barton-le-Clay to play Crawley Green in the SSML Premier Division. Midfielder Dan Jones should be back to boost the Comrades. Berko’s league visit to Hadley that was postponed because Hadley are still in the FA Cup, has now been rescheduled for Saturday, October 22.

Berko’s reserves are at home to Ascot United in the Suburban League Central division on Saturday at 3pm.