In-form Berkhamsted extend hot streak with victory over London Tigers
Berkhamsted continued their fine run of goal scoring form with a 3-0 victory over London Tigers at Broadwater on Tuesday night.
The result means the Comrades have scored an astonishing 19 goals in their last five league and cup games.
Two second half goals put the result beyond doubt, but had the Tigers been more proficient with the ball and more clinical in front of goal, then this could have been a difficult night for the home side.
The turning point came towards the end of the first half when Ibrahim Lukulay found himself one-on-one with Carl Tasker after using his pace to beat the offside trap chasing a wonderfully weighted through-ball.
It was a chance that seemed easier to score, however Lukulay dallied too long on the ball and was eventually crowded out as the Berkhamsted defenders rushed back in to position. The home team were lucky as it was the sort of chance that a more instinctual striker would have tucked away easily.
The Tigers were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal almost immediately when Adiel Mannion spotted the goal keeper off his line and lobbed a delightful shot over the head of Arlys Pampolim and into the net.
It was no more than the Comrades deserved as they had been the better side in a game which had until that point lacked something in the way of quality, as well as clear cut chances.
London Tigers’ best effort of the half saw Carl Tasker tip the powerful shot of Jabir Laraba onto the bar.
Berkhamsted started the second half in the mood for goals and they were unlucky not to go ahead minutes after the restart; Bradley O’Donovan’s turn and volley cannoning off the underside of the bar.
He made no mistake later on, however, to put Berkhamsted 2-0 up. O’Donovan was found in space in a crowded penalty area and quickly adjusted his feet to slot the ball into the bottom corner for his fifth goal in four games.
It could have been three when Mannion saw his looping header cannon back off the crossbar, and the Tigers were fortunate not to score an own goal after the ball was put narrowly behind from Frankie Jowle’s teasing square ball.
It was soon to be 3-0, however, with Jowle sneaking in at the near post and nodding home Dan Weeks’ cross.
The visitors huffed and puffed but there was very little threat going forward, and the Berkhamsted defence held firm when they were called in to action. Tasker saved well from Laraba’s shot from the left hand side and Ed Canham showed impressive positional awareness to stop a rapid Tiger’s break away, although in a four-on-two situation the away side should have done better.
Their increasingly cavalier attacking attitude left them very exposed at the back and their high line was constantly exploited by the excellent running of Jowle, O’Donovan and Eobji, requiring some last gasp defending to prevent the Comrades from adding to their already impressive tally.
The result means that Berkhamsted can look back on a successful September where they remained unbeaten and scored a glut of goals, with their key men finding form at the perfect time.
If players such as Jowle, O’Donovan and Adam Mead can continue to play so well together, and stay fit, then this could be a successful season for them. The Berkhamsted management team will also hope that their momentum can be carried forward and see them putting pressure on the teams above them.
Berko: Tasker, Edwards, Weeks, Baldry, Canham, Mitchell(Farrelly), Jowle, Eboji, O’Donovan, Mead (Nash-Barker), Mannion (Carbery).
On Saturday Berko are in FA Vase action at home to United Counties League side Northampton ON Chenecks.
With a bit of luck Josh Chamberlain, Steve Hawes, Nick Jackson and Jay Caines could all be fit to return and boost the selection options for the game that should pull a decent crowd to Broadwater for a 3pm kick off.
If a replay is needed after extra-time it will be away on Tuesday night – otherwise Berko are free in midweek.
Berko’s reserve side travel the short distance to play Leverstock Green on Saturday in the Suburban League North.