Berko make it nine unbeaten with win at bottom side

Stuart Hastie

Both sides fired long range shots over the bar in the early stages: Jim Baldry for Berko and Tommy Wade for St Margaretsbury.

It was Berko that made the breakthrough in the 13th minute when Steve Hawes turned his man neatly and laid the ball forward into the heart of the penalty area for Matt Bateman, who beat a defender and then fired past Adam Seymour just inside the far post.

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Alex Campana gave Danny Gooding a torrid time, continually dribbling past the full back in the first half. Campana and Ashley Lewis saw shots saved. At the other end Jon Stevenson came forward and headed over the bar and was also too high with a speculative long range shot.

Berko were on top throughout and finally made their dominance pay late in the first half. Dan Jones started a move that Campana continued and his cross from the left wing was met by Bateman who headed past Seymour to double the lead with his second goal of the game. Campana and Jones also went close with shots before the interval.

In the second half the home team tightened their defence but Lewis was unlucky to see a fierce shot rebound off Seymour before he could move and the follow up shot from Jones was also blocked. There was a flurry of second half substitutions and yellow cards, but still Carl Tasker hardly had a shot to save. Teenager Jimmy Hartley came on for his debut having joined Berko from Barton Rovers in midweek. It was no surprise that Berko got a third goal late in the game. Gerardo Smaldone got his first for the club, with a 20 yard shot that pinged in off the inside of the post.

It was Berko’s third consecutive clean sheet. The top three in the table was unchanged with London Colney and Wembley both winning narrowly with the only goal of their matches.

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Berko team: Tasker, Smaldone, Weeks, Stevens, Baldry, Rodrigoe, Lewis(Farrelly),Hawes, Bateman, Campana(Carter), Jones(Hartley) Subs not used Bonner & Mead.

Boreham Wood’s reserves kept a clean sheet and so knocked Berko out of the Michael Bidmead Suburban Cup by winning the second leg on their 3G pitch.

On Tuesday night Berko are at home to Colney Heath in the Challenge Trophy. They return to Premier Division action on Saturday at Biggleswade United in a fixture that starts a run of four consecutive league games. On Tuesday Berko are at home to Oxhey Jets.

In the Suburban League Berko are at home to Godalming Town Reserves on Saturday. On Sunday at 2pm Watford Ladies are at Broadwater entertaining Sheffield in their penultimate league game of the season.