Happy away days for Berko as they move into second

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Berko moved up to second spot in the SSML Premier Division with their fourth consecutive away win on Saturday, 1-0 at Crawley Green.

Ashton Campbell had a hamstring injury so Matt Bateman made his debut at centre forward after signing from Leighton Town.

Goalkeeping coach Dean Goodwin was the fourth keeper Berko have used in as many games and he kept a clean sheet. Liam Toomey was the danger man for Crawley Green but Berko confined his shots to outside the penalty area and Goodwin was able to deal with them comfortably.

Berko stared brightly with Alex Campana enjoying lot of space down the hill on the right wing, frequently going past his man, but nobody was able to apply the finishing touches to a succession of crosses from the byline.

Dean Bull saved well with his feet as Bateman got clear of the defence. Bull went on to save useful low shots from Ashley Lewis and Bateman again.

Up the hill Dean Dummett had a shot that was deflected for a corner and Toomey landed a shot on the roof of the net. Campana hit the outside of the post for Berko after good work by Lewis which was as near as the teams got to a goal in the first half.

After the interval Ashton Grant lobbed over the bar at one end and Bateman fired over at the other. The crucial goal came on the hour mark as Dan Weeks went down the left and the ball was played through Lewis to Tom Carter whose shot was blocked on the line and Lewis bravely poked home the ball, requiring treatment as he was injured in the process.

There were no more goals but Green were not out of the game playing downhill, but Jim Baldry was able to soak up most of the pressure by heading clear. Berko used three substitutes but the pattern did not change and nobody could finish off their attacking moves.

A late goal equalising goal for Cockfosters meant Welwyn Garden City dropped a couple of points so Berko’s win took them above the Citizens into second place in the Premier division table.

Berko: Goodwin, Smaldone, Weeks, Stevens, Baldry, Rodrigoe, Lewis.(Bonner),Hawes Bateman(Odeh). Campana, Carter(Jones) Subs Not used Wilson-McLoughlin & Campbell,

Berko’s reserve side went down 3-1 at home to Ascot United in the Suburban League Central. Aaron Nash-Barker got Berko’s goal in the first half but a hat trick from Calvin Morgan earned the points for the visitors.

Berko are on a run of midweek home games and away Saturdays. The next two Tuesdays see Berko at home in cup action. On Tuesday Berko are at home to Welwyn Garden City in the Herts Charity Shield with the winners going through to the semi-final.

Next Tuesday, October 11, it is the Challenge Trophy when Berko entertain fellow Premier Division side Colney Heath. Sandwiched inbetween is a league game at St Margaretsbury on Saturday.

Berko go to Boreham Wood Reserves’ 3G pitch on Saturday, protecting a 2-1 lead from the first leg of the Michael Bidmead Suburban Cup.