Unbeaten home record comes to an end as Berko lose out to table topping London Colney

Number 11 Josh Chamberlain challenges for the ball for Berkhamsted. Picture (c) Ray Canham
Number 11 Josh Chamberlain challenges for the ball for Berkhamsted. Picture (c) Ray Canham

Berkhamsted lost their unbeaten home league record on Saturday as SSML Premier Division leaders London Colney went home with a 3-1 victory.

Before the game, Berko were presented with the Spartan South Midlands team of the month trophy for October, but they were forced into a late change when Adam Mead pulled up with a hamstring problem pre-match so Jordan Gilbert got his first start.

Both sides tried to pass the ball and there were a few robust tackles, but only one man per team got yellow cards as the game settled down, with the defences generally snaffling out any chances that the neat build-ups threatened to create.

The visitors went ahead on the half hour mark with a cheeky backheel inside the 6-yard box from Russell Gallagher.

Berko’s top scorer Bradley O’Donovan tried to strike back but shot just wide, before Josh Chamberlain took a knock to the head as he went to head on goal for Berko, but the referee ruled the contact was accidental.

At half-time Berko introduced Frankie Jowle and built up some sustained pressure at the Canal End, with Dan Weeks heading home his first goal since joining in the summer from Sun Sports to equalise with over half an hour remaining.

A defender had clattered into a Berko player reaching a header to produce a free-kick which was deftly flicked home by Weeks, who timed his run well to connect with the cross.

Visiting manager Ryan Thompson was incensed by the free-kick decision and left his technical area to storm 50 yards to berate the assistant referee. After several long lectures, the referee’s patience finally wore out a few minutes later, so Thompson was finally sent from the dug out.

Berko pressed hard for the winner and Adiel Mannion came on to freshen up the attack. Tom Carter struck a low shot just past the post and several times Mannion and Alex Campana looked like dribbling in to set up chances.

However, it was the visitors who struck two more goals in the last 10 minutes to take the vital three points.

Both were well worked moves to get behind the defence on the left of the penalty area, with substitute Callum Woods scoring one and Gallagher getting his second of the game.

Berko: Tasker, Edwards, Carter, Baldry, Weeks, Rodrigoe, Gilbert (Jowle), Hawes, O’Donovan, (Mannion) Campana, Chamberlain (Nash-Barker ). Subs not used: Canham and Carbery.

Elsewhere, Berko’s reserve side won 5-0 in a friendly at Brackley on Saturday.