Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt was left to rue individual errors as the Comrades went down 3-2 to Dacorum rivals Leverstock Green in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division opener.
Leverstock had never beaten Berko in 10 previous encounters, but they got the job done with goals from Chris Blunden and Louis Bircham (2), after George Carbery had put the Comrades in front late in the first half.
It’s frustrating to watch as the players are more than capable, both physically and mentally, of getting a result against anyone.Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt
“We’ve had a couple of bad looking results lately and, in both games, it’s been a few individual mistakes at a key time that have cost us dearly after controlling the games in terms of possession and chances created,” said Garratt.
“Saturday was the same; I thought we controlled the first half hour and restricted them to one shot on goal.
“We got a well-created goal and looked to be going into half-time with a one-goal lead, but then we give the ball away and it’s 1-1 after one pass and a shot; a goal completely from our own making.
“The second half they had their tails up because of what occurred previously and again, after creating our own chances, we stood off Louis Bircham – a player who we know well – and we found ourselves 2-1 down.
“Again an individual error cost us with an undisputed penalty when an arm was above the head in the penalty area. At this level we cannot afford such basic things to keep occurring.”
While Garratt was understandably frustrated by the result, the Berko is challenging his players to knuckle down and turn things around.
“It’s frustrating to watch as the players are more than capable, both physically and mentally, of getting a result against anyone,” he said. “It’s something we as a group had issues with last year and, if anything, it’s got worse. But it certainly can be resolved with concentration and continued hard work.”
The Comrades were missing a number of key players on Saturday, but Garratt was not looking to make excuses for the defeat.
“We can point towards the eight players injured currently, all major first team players, but the truth is the players we have available are more than capable of producing the results necessary,” he said.
“Some are trying too hard, some are simply making basic mistakes; we have to find that balance of power, pace and organisation to the side on a consistent basis.
“I’m not taking anything away from Leverstock Green – they took the chances well and have to be congratulated for that – but I have to look at the positives and, in the times where our team has clicked, they’ve looked hugely impressive.
“We simply cut out the individual mistakes, we stop conceding stupid goals and we win games. We’re one game into a very long season and nothing gets decided on the first game.
“Fortunately at this time of the season games come thick and fast so we’ve got a big game against Sun Sports on Tuesday where we can get ourselves back on track.”