Berkhamsted 3 Leverstock Green 1
THERE was a sense of deja vu at Broadwater on Saturday, as once again Levy Green old boys came back to haunt their old club.
In bizarrely similar circumstances to the reverse fixture a few weeks ago – which Berko also won 3-1 – it was three goals from former Levy players that did the damage for the Comrades.
The game was evenly-contested in the first half, but once again Berko dominated after the break to win the game courtesy of goals from Matt Wardle (2) and Frankie Jowle.
There was little goal-mouth action of note in the opening exchanges, but Levy’s first moment of promise came in the 21st minute when Ben Butler produced a good save from Comrades keeper Ed Farmer.
At the other end, Wardle had a run at goal in the 29th minute, but hit his shot straight at keeper Gareth Tinsley.
Seconds later, however, Wardle was in again, running on to a ball down the middle to finish well with his left foot and put his side 1-0 up.
It was a short-lived lead, however, and Levy were back on level terms shortly afterwards. James Bent curled in a free-kick, and Farmer was caught wrong-footed as the ball flew into the net.
Green felt hard done by at the end of the half as Louis Austin was knocked over by Jim Carmichael as he raced towards goal, but the referee waved away the Levy appeals.
The second half started evenly, but it was Berko who scored the crucial third goal with just over an hour played.
Tinsley was caught dawdling on a Connor Calcutt cross, and he paid the price as Wardle slid in to stab home his second goal of the game.
One former Green player replaced another on 66 minutes as Berko boss Mick Vipond replaced Dale Sears with Frankie Jowle, and five minutes later Jowle went down in the box under a challenge from Louis West.
The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Jowle dispatched the resulting penalty to give the Comrades a two-goal cushion – just as he had done in the reverse fixture.
There was still time for Berko to press forward for a fourth, but a good chance came and went as the game finished 3-1 to the hosts.