Berko stay unbeaten '“ just
Berko managed to preserve their unbeaten league record on Saturday when drawing 2-2 with fellow title-chasers Biggleswade United, despite missing several players.
Berko boss Steve Bateman had to make four changes with skipper Jon Munday and Chris Blunden serving one-match bans and Dan Weeks and Dan Jones not fully fit.
Ben Bateman and Stuart Deaton were fit to return and new signing from Slough Town Tommy Williams came into the defence. There was also a first start for debutant Jack Stevens.
Comrades’ keeper Carl Tasker was soon in action when he got down well to keep out a 25-yard drive from Dami Nickels-Benson.
Kane Farrell put a long shot wide and Abarham Eze scuffed a shot when well-placed. United were on top in midfield, finding time and space with their passing game.
At the other end, Berko were frustrated by a few dubious offside flags.
But it was Berko who took the lead in the 25th minute with a spectacular goal.
Adam Mead shaped to take a free-kick inside the centre circle and spotted Biggs’ keeper Robbie Ponting off his line so smashed a 50-yard strike over the stranded keeper and just under the cross bar for his eighth goal of the season.
It proved to be a short-lived lead as United equalised eight minutes later. A long free-kick from the right went deep to the back post and was headed back across goal for centre back Joe Gorman to score.
Early in the second-half Berko went behind when a ball span off a luckless defender’s head into the path of Gorman who was happy to net again.
It looked like Berko were going to lose the only unbeaten record left in the UK at this level but things looked up when Josh Chamberlain came on.
And he was involved in the build-up for the equaliser. After Chamberlian got hold of it, the ball eventually came to Ashley Morrissey on the left wing, he cut inside, leaving a few defenders in his wake and then unleashed a powerful shot that gave Ponting no chance in the United goal.
In the last 15 minutes Berko created chances to win the game. A defender had to clear off the line from Ashton Campbell and Sean Coughlan thought he should have had a penalty playing down the hill.
On the day, third-ranked United were the better side overall, but Berko scored two stunning goals that in themselves deserved a point.
It felt like a point salvaged rather than two points dropped. Second-placed Welwyn came from a goal down in injury time to win on Saturday and so now lie just two points behind leaders Berko, with a game on hand.
Berko: Carl Tasker, Adam Mead, Tommy Williams, Steve Hawes, Stuart Deaton, Jack Stevens, Alex Campana, Ben Bateman (Josh Chamberlain), Ashton Campbell, Sean Coughlan, Ashley Morrissey. Subs not used: Frankie Jowle, Dan Weeks, Max Farrelly, Dan Jones.
After a five-match away run Berko are now at home twice in five days. They were due to host 12th-placed Edgware last night (Tuesday) before entertaining 16th-ranked Colney Heath this Saturday.