Wayward Comrades punished by Holmer Green after ‘horror show’ in front of goal

Berkhamsted versus Holmer Green. Connor Calcutt hits Berkhamsted's opener
Berkhamsted versus Holmer Green. Connor Calcutt hits Berkhamsted's opener

Berkhamsted’s SSML Division One promotion hopes took a knock on Saturday when they dropped points at home for the first time this season in a 4-2 defeat to Holmer Green.

Berko took a 1-0 lead in at half-time, but some wayward finishing eventually proved costly as Holmer Green turned things around in the second half.

“We created so many chances in the first half but didn’t take them,” said Comrades manager Mick Vipond. “That was the difference.”

“We had a horror show in front of goal and then we didn’t create enough in the second half and didn’t defend well enough.

“We weren’t helped by the fact that two of our players pulled out of the game because of a birthday.

“I’m not criticising them because it’s just what young lads do these days – but it certainly affected the squad.

“We had to play players out of position and players who weren’t fully fit.”

Berkhamsted should have been out of sight after dominating possession and creating a number of clear-cut chances, but they only had one goal to show for their efforts at the interval.

Josh Chamberlain raided down the right and squared for the unmarked Connor Calcutt to open the scoring in the 14th minute.

Calcutt should have added to his tally either side of the break, and Berko were made to rue their missed chances when they conceded two goals in a minute around the hour mark.

Dean Allen has a good record against the Comrades and he pounced to level things up before Eliot Derby gave the visitors the lead moments later.

Vipond responded by bringing on Frankie Jowle, and soon afterwards a Chamberlain free-kick was met by a Berko player but the ball came back off the bar.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Allen made it 3-1 from the penalty spot, but Chamberlain tapped in as Calcutt turned provider to bring it back to 3-2.

Berko threw on more forwards in a bid to salvage a point, but instead a weak header led to a cross that Allen converted for his hat-trick to make sure of the win for his side.

Berkhamsted had they chance to gain swift revenge, however, as they prepared to face Holmer Green in the Challenge Trophy at the time the Gazette went to press.

On Saturday, third-placed Berko travel to Hertford Town for a league clash.

Vipond added: “Looking at the positives, we are still third in the table and we are in four cup competitions so there is plenty still to play for.”