Berkhamsted’s poor home form in the SSML Premier continued as they went down to a single goal to Hoddesdon in a controversial game at Broadwater on Saturday.
There was bad news before the game with leading scorer Ashton Campbell’s injury ruling him out during the pre-match warm up. However, Dan Edwards and Adam Mead were able to return after missing the cup defeat at Ware.
The first half was devoid of goals and chances were at a premium as both teams’ midfields struggled to set their forwards free. Twice Town were saved by defenders kicking off their own goalline.
Hoddesdon took a physical approach but hit the deck easily when they themselves were challenged for the ball. The booking count of four cards for Berko and one for the visitors did not reflect either the foul count or the fact that the physios hardly set foot on the pitch all afternoon.
Glenn Williams produced a fine save at the canal end when he got a hand to a Mead free kick and just before the loose ball could cross the line, he acrobatically twisted in mid-air to snatch the ball back in one hand. Bateman dummied a left wing cross and Mead was free in the six yard box at the back post, but saw the ball too late to apply the finishing touch.
In the second half low shots from Matt Bateman and Mead flew across the face of the goal. On the hour mark Hoddesdon’s dangerous Connor Scully hit the post and Jordan Watson was caught offside when he netted the rebound.
Matthew Turpin came up for a corner by Charlie Edwards and was left unchallenged to powerfully head the visitors in front with 20 minutes left. Berko responded by sending on Max Farrelly and Dan Jones who has been struggling to shake off an injury.
They took the game to Hoddesdon and should have got at least one goal attacking the railway end. Jim Baldry surged forward and had one shot saved.
The match officials seemed to be the only people in the ground that did not see that substitute Ed Canham’s effort that had hit the underside of the bar had well and truly crossed the line before it came back out onto the pitch from the back of the net. So Hoddesdon took the points to avenge Berko’s win at Lowfield earlier in the season.
Berko team: Tasker, Edwards, Weeks, Stevens (Farrelly), Baldry, Smaldone, Lewis, Hawes, Bateman, Campana (Jones), Mead (Canham). Sub not used - Wilson-McLoughlin.
On Tuesday Berko are at home to Wembley in the quarter final of the Premier Division Cup. Tuesday, December 27 sees Berko entertain Tring Athletic in an eagerly awaited local derby that kicks off at 3pm.