Unbeaten record finally goes

Berkhamsted FC, who earned promotion last season, have started their pre-season with a 5-1 victory.
Berkhamsted FC, who earned promotion last season, have started their pre-season with a 5-1 victory.

Berkhamsted’s unbeaten league record finally went on Saturday at St Margaretsbury as they could not score despite having most of the ball throughout the game.

Adam Mead and Ben Bateman were available and returned after missing the midweek cup defeat to Royston (see later).

Home keeper Adam Seymour made the first real saves after Berko skipper Jon Munday played the ball up the line and Adiel Mannion and Ashley Morrissey combined with the winger getting in the shot after a neat lay off.

Seymour also kept out a good Ashton Campbell effort before Max Farrelly headed over from the resulting corner taken by Alex Campana.

Despite a lot of Berko pressure it was the hosts who took the lead after The Comrades gave the ball away needlessly, allowing an attack to develop. Ryan Wade curled a disputed free-kick to the back post and substitute Matt Attard headed what proved to be the only goal of the game.

St Mags were content to sit back on their lead and defend with an eye on the clock as they went on to keep their third clean sheet of the week.

Too often Berko’s attacks down the middle ended with the ball being cleared, although they had more joy on the wings.

In the second-half, Munday went closest for Berko with a header that rebounded to safety off the crossbar.

There was also a gift-wrapped chance for Campbell, that somehow went over the bar from inside the six-yard box, after converting harder chances to score in each of the four previous games.

Ben Bateman headed a good chance wide for Berko and Seymour did well to hold a Mead free-kick at the foot of his post. Berko forced five successive corners but Seymour gobbled up most of the crosses all afternoon.

Berko boss Steve Bateman threw on substitutes Josh Helmore and Frankie Jowle in the closing stages but the breakthrough eluded The Comrades.

Title rivals Welwyn Garden City won at the weekend to take over at the top of the table but Berko remain in a promotion position and are six points clear of third-placed side Harpenden Town, who lost as did fourth-ranked near-neighbours Leverstock Green (see report below).

Berko were due to be in action again last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press when they were hosting midtable Hadley.

This Saturday they entertain 12th-placed London Colney.

Berko: Carl Tasker, Adam Mead, Tommy Williams (Frankie Jowle), Ben Bateman (Josh Helmore), Jon Munday, Max Farrelly , Alex Campana, Ashley Lewis (Dan Jones), Ashton Campbell, Adiel Mannion, Ashley Morrissey.

n In midweek plucky Berko exited the Herts Senior Cup when they went down 3-1 to Royston Town.

The hosts Berko made six changes for the cup tie and put in a great performance but eventually were knocked out by a Royston team from two divisions higher in the football pyramid.

Josh Thompson in goal and Jordan Gilbert got their first starts of the season for Berko, who were hit by a mixture of suspensions, injuries and unavailability.

Three development side players were promoted to the bench.

There was plenty of early action with Royston getting 2-1 ahead in the opening quarter.

The first Royston goal was from a Gus Scott-Morriss free-kick that was headed back by Dawson, allowing Josh Oyinsan to net with a close-range shot.

Campbell had a fine match for Berko and his speed took him past the defence to fire home the equaliser in the 14th minute.

But Royston got their noses back in front when ex-Stevenage and Lincoln striker Adam Marriott scored from a direct free-kick.

Berko did their best to get an equaliser with Town keeper Josh Tibbetts doing well to keep out shots from Mannion, Morrissey,Campbell and Frankie Jowle.

The hosts often troubled the visitors’ defence when they dribbled and were looking as if they would level but a breakaway goal earned Royston a trip to Hertford in the next round of the competition.

Oyinsan netted his second of the game at the railway end with seven minutes left.

Berko: Thompson, Jowle, Gilbert, Farrelly Munday, Jones , Campana, Lewis (Amadieu), Campbell, Mannion, Morrissey. Subs not used: Tasker, M Lee and Phillips.