Wardle double gets Berko back on track

6/8/2011'Berkhamsted FC ( in yellow and blue) versus London Lions.'Matt Wardle with ball.
6/8/2011'Berkhamsted FC ( in yellow and blue) versus London Lions.'Matt Wardle with ball.

Stotfold 2 Berkhamsted 2

COMRADES manager Mick Vipond was full of praise for his side after they came from behind twice to take a point at Stotfold.

After the team’s stuttering form of late, it was a much improved Berkhamsted performance and two goals from Matt Wardle were enough to secure the draw.

“I was really pleased with the performance,” said Vipond. “It would have been that way even if we had lost 2-1 because it was one of our best displays for quite a while.

“The togetherness of the players and the encouragement they showed each other was really good, and I was pleased with the tempo of our play.

“Football is a team game and, unless you play as a team, it won’t happen for you. We’ve got 21 players in the squad now and it can be hard to keep all of them happy at times, but we really played like a team on Saturday.”

With Leon Skinner injured, it was back to last season’s back four for Berko with the Carmichael brothers – Jim and Simon – reunited at centre-back and Danny Power making his debut in defence after returning to the club from Beaconsfield SYCOB.

The rearranged side did well in the first half, with the defence looking safe and the strikers creating a number of decent openings.

However, it was Stotfold who took the lead in the 26th minute as Sean Herr got through on the right wing and beat Ed Farmer with a low shot.

The Stotfold joy proved to be short lived, though, as Matt Wardle equalised with a superb finish four minutes later.

Berko had to make changes to the side after the break, with Power and Dale Sears coming off injured – and Stotfold took advantage to regain the lead.

It was Herr again who found the net, as he forced the ball home through a crowded penalty area to hand his side a 2-1 advantage.

Not to be denied a point, however, the Comrades’ battling spirit shone through and substitute Kerkstun MacPherson set up Wardle to slot home an injury time equaliser and earn a draw for his side.

“They scored against the run of play but we responded really well,” said Vipond.

“Matty Wardle has taken on the (Lawrence) Bunker role since he left and is getting us the goals.”

And Vipond will be hoping Wardle and the rest of the team build on the performance as they take on bottom side Hanwell Town at Broadwater on Saturday.

“We are looking for the win and obviously I’m hoping for three points,” said the Berko boss.

“But you can never take anything for granted in this division and there really are no easy games.”