Berkhamsted notched their biggest league victory of the season in an 8-0 thrashing of Hoddesdon Town to go back to the top of the table.
Before Saturday’s match at Broadwater there was a presentation by the Herts FA of cheques to charities with funds raised from the Herts Charity Shield, which Berko won last term. Berko nominated the Hospice of St Francis and The Royal British Legion. Doug Kay accepted the legion cheque which will be added to Poppy Appeal funds.
The game began competitively with ex-Comrade Louis Rose and Berko keeper Carl Tasker getting into a dispute, but both stayed on the pitch.
Josh Chamberlain then headed wide and an Adam Mead left-foot shot also went past the post.
The opening goal came midway through the first-half when Ashley Morrrissey was tripped in the penalty area. Mead stepping up to net his 20th goal of the season from the resulting spot kick.
Matt Bateman crossed from the left for Adiel Mannion to soon double the lead for a 2-0 half-time edge.
It was one-way traffic in the second period. Soon after the restart the ball was laid into the path of Dan Jones who struck a splendid shot past Town keeper Damien Farrow.
Morrissey was tripped again, this time outside the penalty area, and Mead extended his lead as the club’s top scorer by beating Farrow all ends up with the free-kick.
Morrissey himself got onto the scoresheet with the fifth goal when he placed his shot just inside the far post with Bateman again the creator.
Around the hour mark Jones added his second and Berko’s sixth, netting at the second attempt with a shot at the canal end.
Ben Bateman robbed a defender and executed a composed finish for the seventh as he slotted past the advancing Farrow who was left exposed.
Berko boss Steve Bateman brought on three substitutes and two of them combined in stoppage time, with Alex Campana creating the final goal with a cross from the right that found Jack Stevens, who rifled the ball home for 8-0.
It was Berko’s fifth league double of the season and their second home league clean sheet with Tasker making one double save but having little else to do.
Matt Bateman did not get on the scoresheet but was influential, bringing others into play and holding the ball up well with his back to goal.
Berko managed to play a neat passing game reminiscent of their early season form on a flat pitch, well prepared by groundsman Steve Davis.
The win allowed Berko to return to the top of the SSML Premier Division table as fellow title hopefuls Welwyn Garden City’s match was postponed. How long they stay top will depend on the outcome of the midweek match between their closest rivals Leighton Town and Welwyn, who will each use up one of their games in hand.
Berko: Carl Tasker, Adam Mead, Josh Camberlain, Steve Hawes (Jack Stevens), Jon Munday, Max Farrelly, Dan Jones, Ben Bateman (Ollie Cox), Matt Bateman, Adiel Mannion, Ashley Morrissey (Alex Campana).Subs not used: Sean Coughlan and Ashton Campbell.
Berko were due to be back in action again last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press. They were hosting Markyate PSV in the St Mary’s Cup.
The Comrades then get back to league action this Saturday with a trip to midtable Cockfosters.