Berko hit Hoddesdon for six to go second

Dan Jones slots home the winning penalty for Berko in their 3-2 FA Cup preliminary round win at Crawley Green
Dan Jones slots home the winning penalty for Berko in their 3-2 FA Cup preliminary round win at Crawley Green

Berkhamsted came from behind to hit six goals against Hoddesdon Town yesterday (Saturday) and move up to second spot in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division.

With Lewis Rodrigoe suffering from tonsillitis, Berko boss Steve Bateman made one change, giving a first start of the season to Stuart Deaton at centre back.

Berko started well with Stacey Field heading an Ashley Morrissey cross wide, Harry Isham saving an Adam Mead shot, a Jon Munday header from a corner going close and a Sean Coughlan shot being deflected for a corner.

However, it was Hoddesdon that got the first goal after 27 minutes. Berko keeper Carl Tasker seemed to have dived on the slippy surface and claimed the ball, but under challenge it came free and he got a hand to the shot, but the ball looped up and landed on the line, with Leigh Rose on hand to make sure of the goal.

Four minutes later Berko were level. Hoddesdon lost possession and the ball broke to Dan Jones who fired in a low shot from the edge of the penalty area to make it 1-1.

It was soon 2-1 when a great ball down the left wing from Morrissey released Coughlan, whose speed took him past Ross Clemo and the cross was met by Field, who ran in to volley his 11th goal of the season.

Morrissey was causing the home team a lot of problems and he was fouled persistently. One proved costly 20 yards out as Mead beat the defensive wall and keeper with a free-kick to put Berko 3-1 up.

There was nearly an action replay shortly after with Morrissey again fouled, but this time Isham got a hand to Mead’s free-kick and just tipped it over the bar.

Three minutes from the interval, Hoddesdon made a game of it by pulling the scoreline back to 3-2. Dom N’Joya hit a deep ball from out wide on the left and Tom Cowell arrived at the back post to volley home.

Deaton came forward a few times for corners but his headers went just wide.

In the second half, it was more of the same from Berko. A Jones shot was blocked, a Mead free-kick was just reached by Isham, a Field lob went over the bar and Isham also stopped a Mead lob.

The vital fourth goal was created by a perfectly weighted pass from Steve Hawes, beyond the centre back, allowing Coughlan to run on and place his shot beyond Isham to make it 4-2.

With a two-goal cushion, Ashton Campbell, back from his holidays, came off the bench and was soon in the action. He set up Mead who crashed a fierce shot against the bar and had a shot deflected for a corner.

Mead did get his second goal with a fine shot just inside the post when Field laid the ball to him.

The rout was completed by Campbell who netted with a low shot for the sixth goal.

It was ample revenge for a cup defeat on a penalty shoot–out when the sides met earlier in the month.

The victory means Berko move up to second place in the table and just five points adrift of Biggleswade FC.

This Saturday Berko will be looking to notch their first double of the season when they entertain Holmer Green in a match that has been brought forward following Green’s exit from the FA Vase. Kick-off is at Broadwater at 3pm.

Team; Tasker, Campana, Weeks, Hawes, Munday, Deaton, Mead, Jones (Farrelly), Field, Coughlan (Jowle), Morrissey (Campbell). Subs not used: Cutler, Osborne.

Meanwhile, Berko’s development team won their first home game of the season over the weekend, beating Cockfosters 1-0. Next up for them is a trip to Colney Heath next Saturday, September 23.

However, the under-14s went down 2-0 to London Lions Maccabi.