Frustration as Comrades are pegged back by Holmer Green late show

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Berkhamsted threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with early season strugglers Holmer Green.

The Comrades arrived in fine form, having won four on the bounce in both league and cup, in contrast to Holmer Green’s three defeats in their last four.

The early play was characterised by some neat passing and good pressure from the home side and Berkhamsted went closest to scoring when Aaron Nash-Barker’s cross goal pass, flashed in from the right, failed to find a connecting boot in the box.

This early play eventually gave way to a midfield battle with neither side creating many clear-cut chances.

Berkhamsted finally found a break through mid waythrough the first half when Aaron Nash-Barker, influential when on the ball, converted from close range after Ed Canham’s initial shot from a Josh Chamberlain corner was saved by Green goalkeeper Sam Butcher.

The home side should have been 2-0 up a few minutes later when Nash-Barker displayed some fancy footwork to send the Holmer Green defender the wrong way, only to see his long range shot from the right cannon back off the crossbar.

Holmer Green continued to probe without really threatening the Berkhamsted goal although they had some claim to a penalty when striker Kieran Webb was brought down in the box by a robust challenge.

Their best chance of the half came when Aaron Couch, capitalising on an error by centre back Jim Baldry, found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper but his powerful shot was tipped over the bar after Carl Tasker stood strong.

Towards the end of the half the home side finally doubled their advantage when Jude Eboji blasted the ball home after an out swinging corner caused confusion in the Holmer Green box. It was no more than Berkhamsted deserved, being the more dominant side in terms of both possession and chances.

The second half began much as the first ended; Nash-Barker having two good chances early on, the best of which saw his powerful shot sting the palms of Butcher.

These early chances failed to materialise into goals and the introduction of Rory Smith in the Holmer Green defence led to increased sturdiness in the opposition.

The majority of the second half was characterised by some sloppy passing from both sides with Berkhamsted strangely lacking in the tempo and rhythm that had been a feature of some of their best play.

As the away team grew in confidence, so did their threat level on Tasker’s goal – the Comrades goalkeeper needed to be alert and strong under pressure as the Holmer Green strikers took advantage of some slack defending from a corner.

It was this slackness that gave Holmer a way back into the game. A mix-up in defence saw Green centre back Richie Wallace thump home to make the game 2-1 late in the second half.

It looked like only being a consolation until, two minutes into stoppage time, Aaron Couch found himself on his own down the Berkhamsted left and, after carrying the ball forward, arrowed a pinpoint strike into the bottom right hand corner of the net from outside the area.

It was a superb strike but one that left the home team shell-shocked. The late drama didn’t end there as Ed Canham nearly won it for Berkhamsted with the final action of the game when he rose highest from a free-kick, his glancing header only just going over the bar.

Berko: Tasker, Edwards, Rodrigoe (Foster), Baldry, Canham, Hawes, Carbery, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Eboji (Jowle), Nash-Barker (Jackson). Subs not used: Farrelly & Caines.

Berkhamsted will be disappointed to have dropped points but there will be an opportunity to make amends when they meet Barton Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

If a replay is needed it will be at Broadwater on Tuesday, September 1. In the absence of a replay, Berko will begin their defence of the Dudley Latham Memorial Premier Division Cup that night with a trip to Colney Heath.