Berko solidify place at top of the league after top-table victory

The Berkhamsted players celebrate during their 4-1 midweek win over St Margaretsbury which pushed them to the top of the league.
The Berkhamsted players celebrate during their 4-1 midweek win over St Margaretsbury which pushed them to the top of the league.

Table-toppers Berkhamsted FC won the vital six-pointer on Saturday at fellow title-chasers Biggleswade FC to move three points clear at the top of the table.

They beat second-placed Biggleswade 3-2 in a resilient performance, with The Comrades coming from two goals down and facing injury woes.

Dan Weeks was ill but Lewis Rodrigoe was fit to return –the only change to the starting 11 that beat St Margaretsbury 4-1 in midweek.

Mid-way through the first-half, Stuart Deaton came off after limping with an injury and Adam Mead moved to the unaccustomed centre-half role with Ben Bateman coming on in midfield. Up to then it was a tight match with neither keeper having to make any saves of note as the top-two played out a cagey affair.

It came to life with a three-goal burst in the 10 minutes before the interval.

A controversial free-kick was awarded to Biggs when Steve Hawes was ruled to have fouled his man just outside the ‘D’. George Riley stepped up to hit it over the defensive wall and past Berko’s Carl Tasker for the opener.

The hosts have been league-leaders for much of the season and they doubled their lead in the 42nd minute. Again it was via a free -kick, hit long and falling to Tom Cookman at the back stick who tucked it away.

Berko needed to hit back fast. Jon Munday got his head to a Dan Jones corner, then Stacey Field created a chance for Sean Coughlan, who ran clear to place the ball under Biggs’ keeper Sam Wyer to make it 2-1 in front of the large crowd of joyous youngsters that had travelled from Berkhamsted.

The goal meant it was all to play for in the second-half.

After the restart, Cookman shot over for the hosts then Wyer had a mad moment, clattering Coughlan to concede a penalty. The youngsters raced to the other end to see Jones confidently tuck away his second spot-kick of the week for 2-2.

Wyer nearly got punished for coming too far off his line when a long-range lob from Jones hit the bar and Field beat him with two more long lobs, but one went over and the other wide.

A marvellous turn from Field enabled him to get clear of the defence before he placed a neat shot in the corner for the winning goal –his 13th of the season.

The only scare was a late free-kick but this time Riley wasted the chance.

The top-of-the-table clash drew by far Biggs’ largest league crowd of the season with the majority travelling from Berko, even though it was their furthest trip in the division.

On Saturday they host mid-table Stotfold. When the sides met in the FA Cup, Berko had an amazing 12-1 win, but there has now been a change of management.

The following Tuesday, October 17, they then travel to Oxhey Jets.