St Margaretsbury 2 Berkhamsted 0
Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond was left fuming after he saw his side beaten at St Margaretsbury in highly controversial circumstances.
With the game finely balanced at 0-0 after an hour’s play, Berko’s Dan Griggs was sent off for violent conduct following an aerial challenge with host keeper Matt Deamer.
The Comrades were incensed at what they felt to be a harsh decision, but the referee waved away their protestations and St Margaretsbury went on to claim the win.
“I always try to avoid moaning about two things – injuries and the officials,” said Vipond.
“But I have to say that we have been on the end of some really bad decisions of late.
“Griggsy’s was a challenge that you see every game and the red card paints a bad picture of the club.
“As I say, I don’t normally moan about the officials but they have affected the result.
“We were well in the game at that point and I think that if we still had 11 men, we would have been in with a chance.”
The two teams went into the game separated by just one place in the MSSML Premier Division table, and the first half was a predictably close affair.
Berko forced a number of good stops from Deamer and would have fancied their chances of going on to win the game, but Griggs’ dismissal left them facing an uphill challenge.
St Margaretsbury began to put the Berko defence under pressure, and the breakthrough arrived shortly afterwards as Sam Ruff curled home a shot from the edge of the area.
From then on, there was only going to be one winner and the hosts made sure of the points with a breakaway goal from Lee Roberts.
At the time the Gazette went to press, the Comrades were preparing for a trip to Ampthill Town for a Premier Division Cup clash.
Mick Vipond’s side then face Southend Manor in the FA Carlsberg Vase on Saturday afternoon. Kick-off 3pm at Broadwater.