Berkhamsted FC stretched their lead at the top of the league standings to five points after beating Thame United 3-2 at home on Saturday but had to work hard for the maximum points, writes Grant Hastie.
Striker Lewis Toomey again got an early goal for Berko, this time in the sixth minute after finishing from a right-wing cross.
Midway through the half that became 2-0 when a thoughtful pass from Saul Willams fooled the Thame defence, who were expecting a shot, and that released Toomey to net his eighth goal in three games with a neat early shot over Craig Hill in the United goal.
Just before half-time Thame’s Marcus Mealing went down in the box under a Lee Stobbs challenge and stepped up to convert the penalty to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
Berko had to rearrange their defence when Max Farrelly came on for the injured Dan Akubuine and United came more into the game in the second period.
United’s Ryan Blake blasted a shot over the bar, while Berko’s Ben Spaul was set up by Jonathan Lacey but had his shot blocked.
Farrelly hung in the air to powerfully head home a Lacey corner that restored the two-goal advantage around the hour mark.
United sub Lynton Goss made it 3-2 in the 86th minute to set up a nervy finish but Berko saw it out.
The Comrades’ win, coupled with AFC Dunstable losing again, put Berko five points cleat at the top of the Southern League Division One Central table.
Last night (Tuesday) they were due to visit Beaconsfield Town in the league cup as the Gazette was going to press, and this Saturday they enter the FA Trophy at the preliminary round stage when hosting Isthmian League South East side Herne Bay.