Comrades crush Colney to climb up to third position

The Berkhamsted players celebrate. Picture (c) Richard Solk
The Berkhamsted players celebrate. Picture (c) Richard Solk

Berkhamsted moved up to third in the SSML Premier Division table with a comfortable 3-0 win at a windy Colney Heath on Saturday.

Lewis Rodrigoe got his first start since injury and George Carbery was recalled, while the defence was reshaped with Dale Sears coming in for unavailable centre-back Ed Canham and Max Farrelly moving to right-back.

It took half an hour for Berko to break down the home defence as Josh Chamberlain wriggled free on the left of the penalty area and his cross-cum-shot was swept home at the back post by Adiel Mannion.

Nick Jackson then saw a shot deflected to safety and Chamberlain lobbed over the bar as Berko pressed for a second goal before the interval.

In the second half, Jackson had a couple of good shots; one hitting Mannion and the other being strong enough to come back off goalkeeper Dario Zaguano’s chest. At the other end, Carl Tasker tipped a Steve Burford shot over the bar.

Sears ventured forward for a couple of corners – he served notice with the first, heading just past the near post, but next time his header was on target to double the visitors’ lead on the hour mark.

Heath looked to be a better side than when Berko knocked them out of the cup earlier in the season, but the result was seldom in doubt.

With quarter of an hour remaining Jackson broke clear up the hill and placed his shot low past the advancing keeper to complete the scoring.

Berko used all three substitutes and then finished the game with 10 men as Farrelly had to limp off with an ankle injury he picked up while winning a corner on the overlap.

With a game in hand on the unbeaten top two, Berko are well placed with three quarters of the league season to go, including home and away matches with all the top teams.

Berkhamsted: Tasker, Farrelly, Weeks, Baldry, Sears, Rodrigoe, Carbery (Jowle), Hawes, Mannion (Caines), Chamberlain (Nash-Barker), Jackson. Subs not used: Towell and O’Donovan.

On Saturday, Berko are at home to bottom of the table Bedford, who notched their first win of the season this weekend.

The Comrades will be hoping their long injury list eases and that Dan Edwards, Canham, Jermaine Mitchell, Jude Eboji and Adam Mead will soon be fit. With no midweek game, there is time for some knocks from Saturday to heal too.

Berko’s reserve side go to Hertford in the Herts Intermediate Cup on Saturday.