Impressive Berkhamsted find form to sink high-flying Wembley

Adiel Mannion opened the scoring for Berkhamsted
Adiel Mannion opened the scoring for Berkhamsted

Berkhamsted notched arguably their best SSML Premier Division result of the season when they outplayed promotion chasing Wembley to record a 3-1 victory on Saturday.

Wembley came into the game in third spot with games in hand on the second placed team, but they left Broadwater deflated as Berko got the job done in impressive style.

Comrades manager Mick Vipond made three changes to the side that won through to the Premier Division Cup final in midweek.

Carl Tasker and James Baldry were back to bolster the defence with Ed Canham starting a suspension, while Josh Chamberlain was recalled in place of the unavailable BJ Christie.

Berko started the game brightly and the opening goal arrived when a defender was hesitating and Ashley Morrissey pounced to run into the penalty box.

After beating one man, he unselfishly squared for Adiel Mannion to shoot the opener past Wembley keeper Bart Fogler.

Berko doubled their lead on the half hour mark when a cross was nodded across goal by Baldry, allowing Jamie Gavin to head home.

A Morrissey effort was headed off the line at the Railway End as Berko continued to press forward, while Zane Gangadeen cleared the bar with a fierce shot at the other end.

As the sides walked in at half-time, a Wembley player kicked the gate on leaving the pitch as the away team’s frustration boiled over.

It was Wembley’s second match within 48 hours and Berko certainly looked the fresher team – pressing all over the pitch to win plenty of possession throughout the match.

There was no doubt where the points were going once Mannion got his second goal of the game, volleying a cross into the back of the net midway through the second half to make it 3-0.

Berko included a couple of youth team players on the bench and George Carberry came on for his debut near the end of the game.

There was just time for Alex Witham to get a consolation goal for Wembley at the Railway End, but it did little to spoil the celebrations for the impressive Comrades.

Berko: Tasker; Massay, Rodrigoe, Gavin, Baldry, Hawes, Jowle, To (Carbery), Mannion, Morrissey, Chamberlain. Subs not used – Foster, Trevillion and Barnes.

Elsewhere, Berko’s reserve side lost 1-0 at Northwood in the Suburban North, but despite that reverse they and Binfield will now finish in the top two, which are the promotion positions.

The battle to be top remains with Binfield winning on Saturday and closing Berko’s lead down to two points with three games left for each team.

Meanwhile, Berko’s U18 side went out of the Brian Hitchings Cup on Wednesday night 4-3 in a penalty shoot out after conceding an equaliser just seconds from the end of normal time when they were winning 2-1 against Sawbridgeworth Town.

On Tuesday, the Berko first team go to second placed Sun Sports for a league game. BJ Christie will be available to return, but Max Farrelly remains injured.

Berko entertain bottom of the table Hillingdon Borough in another Spartan South Midlands Premier Division game on Saturday at Broadwater.

On Wednesday, Berko’s U18 side wind up their season with a home game against Leverstock Green.