Berko close in on the play-off positions

Football stock image
Football stock image

Berkhamsted FC moved within two points of the Evo Stik Southern League Division One Central play-off zone after their 2-2 draw at snow-free Coleshill on Saturday.

Before the game the town’s mayor cut the ribbon on Coleshill’s new stand.

Ben Spau, Berko’s new signing from Welwyn Garden City, made his debut in midfield for the suspended Max Farrelly.

Berko’s Matt Bateman and Jonathan Lacey combined well up front and Lacey was held back for a penalty as he was about to shoot. Bateman’s spot kick was kept out after Paul Hathaway guessed the right way.

The miss proved costly as soon after the speedy Reece Leek, who was the danger man for the hosts, put Coleshill 1-0 ahead. It was against the run of play, as Berko lost possession on the left and when Reece’s first shot was saved he netted the rebound.

Elliott Godfrey equalised rapidly for Berko with a snap shot after Lacey set up the chance.

Before half-time, Berko took a 2-1 lead. The assistant referee ruling the ball had crossed the line before the keeper got to a Bateman header from a Godfrey cross.

Karl Stevenson came on as a full back early in the second half after Berko’s Danny Murphy was injured. Initially he slotted in at left back, but later was swapped with James Towell.

Berko occasionally switched wingers Antonis Vasiliou and Will Summerfield to good effect, however, the home side levelled the scores again through Leek with the busy linesman at the bottom goalmouth again awarding the goal before Berko could clear.

Godfrey smashed a sweet volley inches over the bar for The Comrades and their keeper Xavi Comas-Leon pulled off a fine double save to keep Berko on level terms.

It looked as if Berko might go on to grab all three points when substitute Harry Scott had a decent chance and Lacey and Bateman carved openings. There was controversy at the death when Bateman was clattered winning a header and the visitors were expecting a spot kick, but the referee blew for full-time.

Berko: Comas, Towell, Murphy (Stevenson), Godfrey, Kinnane, Toomey, Vasiliou, Spaul, Bateman, Lacey, Summerfield (Scott). Subs not used: Simpson,Dalton and McCrohan.

Berko are at home against Sutton Coldfield Town this Saturday in an important game between two sides that lie just outside the playoff zone in sixth and seventh respectively. Farrelly will miss out again, as he serves the final game of his ban.