Berkhamsted march on in front of a big home crowd

The Comrades are still going nicely at the top end of the Southern League Division One Central as they kicked off the new year with a victory

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 7:32 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 7:34 am
Tommy Smith celebrates after heading Berkhamsted into an early lead in their New Year’s Day home victory over Aylesbury United. Picture by Robson O’Reardon

Berkhamsted kept the pressure up on Southern League Division One Central leaders Bedford Town with a New Year’s Day success over Aylesbury United.

The game was played out in front of a season-high attendance of 367 at Broadwater and the 3-1 victory means second-placed Berko sit three points behind the leaders with two games in hand.

Cameron Groom was handed a first league start in goal for the Comrades while boss Chris Devane also gave a debut to left-back Ben Walster, who has joined from Stotfold.

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An early header at the Railway End from Tommy Smith gave Berkhamsted a half-time lead.

And they were well on top after the break.

Lucas Kirkpatrick nearly broke through as neat passing created an opportunity but the turning point was the introduction of Lewis Toomey.

He soon shrugged off a defensive challenge and ran clear but was off target with the shot but the outcome of the game was still in doubt as Groom produced a wonder save to deny Sonny French from close range.

The game opened up in the closing stages with substitute James Verney squaring the ball from the right and laying on a golden chance for Toomey, who shot wide at the Canal End.

But when Ali Bangura set him up from the left wing, Toomey made no mistake to double the lead in the 85th minute.

A delicate lob from the edge of the penalty area over Archie Davis by Bangura made it 3-0 to wrap up the points, although the Ducks did grab a consolation from close-range through Ezra Anthonio-Forde deep into stoppage-time.

Berko will now be hoping for another big crowd for a huge game on Saturday when they entertain fourth-placed North Leigh.