Five-star show from Berko as Comrades retain lead at summit

Berkhamsted's Adam Mead.
Berkhamsted's Adam Mead.
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Berkhamsted maintained their lead at the top of the South Midlands Premier League table on Saturday in fine style after a 5-0 win at London Tigers.

Two goals from the superb Ben Bateman, a brace from the ever-improving Ashton Campbell and a solo strike from Adiel Mannion ensured the Comrades stayed above chasers Welwyn Garden City, who Berko now play three times in the next two weeks.

Tigers had the first attack of note on Saturday via Dennis Nortei but Comrades’ keeper Carl Tasker made a fine save.

Berko created a host of chances before they finally took a deserved 1-0 lead on 25 minutes when Adam Mead’s fierce shot was parried to Campbell, who blasted home.

The second-half was one-way traffic. Mead and Ashley Morrissey, twice, went close before the vital second goal arrived. Bateman fired in Mead’s corner after a goalmouth scramble on 63 minutes before Morrissey and Mannion almost made it 3-0 ahead of the goal of the game.

Bateman picked up a great through ball from Morrissey on 72 minutes and stuck a sublime curling shot into the back of the net that merited his battling midfield display.

Campbell made it 4-0 on 76 minutes with a well-taken finish and Berkhamsted’s intense pressure yielded a fifth when Mannion struck to give the Comrades a scoreline their dominance deserved.

Berko boss Steve Bateman was understandably proud of his side after this fine away win against and tricky and unpredictable Tigers team.

The Berko goal tally now stands at 64 from just 23 league games.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) starts the trilogy of eagerly-awaited games against Welwyn, first on the road in the semi-final of the Herts Charity Shield, which the Comrades won last term.

A big crowd is then anticipated at Broadwater this Saturday when Berko host Welwyn in a pivotal league clash at 3pm.