Five-star Berkhamsted put 10-man Tring Athletic to the sword

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Berkhamsted hammered Tring Athletic 5-1 last night in the first SSML Premier Division Dacorum derby of the season.

Berko hit back well after conceding an early goal and went on to run out convincing winners to go top of the early league table on goal difference.

Taylor Collins put Athletic in front by pouncing on a loose ball after a shot rebounded off Carl Tasker’s chest from a corner with just two minutes on the clock.

But Jordon Frederick and BJ Christie looked dangerous for Berko, and the turning point in the game came when Christie was round the keeper and bearing down on goal before a last-ditch tackle by Ollie Butler earned him a red card and a penalty for the Comrades.

Josh Chamberlain converted the spot kick with a fierce shot, and that settled Berko down.

Just before half-time, the Comrades went in front when the ball came out to James Towell on the D and he carefully threaded his shot through a number of players and into the net.

Ten minutes into the second half, Ed Canham came up for a Chamberlain corner and headed home to make it 3-1.

He then struck the bar from a Chamberlain cross but a foul was given for pushing.

Playing down the slope with a man advantage, Berko now had their tails up and looked good for more goals, with Chris Vardy looking dangerous on the break for Tring.

Chamberlain made it 4-1 with a rasping free kick that went in off the underside of the bar in the 73rd minute, before Jack Copson got booked for a foul and Canham also saw yellow when a ball bounced up onto his elbow.

Berko brought on Adiel Mannion and Ashley Morrissey who ran at the Tring defence and forced a succession of corners, while Chamberlain was inches away from netting a hat-trick.

Christie, however, had to wait until injury time to get his customary goal – holding off a string of challenges before rounding Matt Evans in the Tring goal.

On Saturday, Mick Vipond should have a larger squad to pick from for Berko’s FA Cup trip to Ashford Town in Middlesex as Dale Sears will have completed his suspension. However, Steve Hawes remains suspended.

If a replay is needed, it will be played at Broadwater the following Tuesday. If the FA Cup does not intervene, Berko will be at home to Oxhey Jets that evening in a league game.

Berko’s reserve side begin their Suburban League North season at home to North Greenford United on Saturday.

Tring, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back to form against Holmer Green in the FA Cup on Saturday. The game kicks-off at 3pm at The Grass Roots Stadium.