Promotion is three wins away

Berkhamsted FC, who earned promotion last season, have started their pre-season with a 5-1 victory.
Berkhamsted FC, who earned promotion last season, have started their pre-season with a 5-1 victory.

Matt Bateman returned with a hat-trick as Berkhamsted did the double over sixth-placed Biggleswade on Saturday.

Josh Chamberlain and Adam Mead were also back in the starting line-up as The Comrades reacted well to the pressure of a must-win game at their Broadwater home.

Matt Bateman, winning a ball in the air earlier this season, netted a hat-trick on Saturday. (Pic: Richard Solk)

Matt Bateman, winning a ball in the air earlier this season, netted a hat-trick on Saturday. (Pic: Richard Solk)

Berko took an early lead after fine work by Ashton Campbell ending with a pass that Alex Campana tapped in from six yards out in the 9th minute.

The hosts were on form and went two goals to the good in the 17th minute. This time Dan Jones was the creator and Bateman ran on to his clever pass to shoot into the corner of the net.

Mead took a pot shot from 35 yards out and Dan Green, in the visitors’ goal was a relieved man when he caught the rebound after it struck the cross bar.

Green tipped a few 
Bateman shots around 
the post for corners.

Bateman made it 3-0 when following up to shoot home after Green saved his first shot.

Virtually on the stroke of half-time Biggleswade’s Ryan Inskip hit a fine shot from the edge of the area into the corner of the net to pull it back to 3-1.

Early in the second-half Bateman grabbed his hat-trick running into the area and finishing calmly after Campana had beat a couple of men down the right-hand side.

Justin Leavers pulled one back for Biggleswade with a low shot around the hour mark.

Darren Woodend headed against the bar when he got on the end of a corner but for most of the rest of the game Berko remained on top.

A Chamberlain effort was kicked off the line, substitute Sean Coughlan headed over and Campbell had a penalty appeal turned down as he crashed to the ground.

Green did well to save from Campana as Berko looked for more goals, just in case things come down to goal difference.

Two landmarks were achieved by Berko on Saturday, going past the 100 league goals mark for the season and beating their highest finishing mark in their seven seasons in the SSML Premier Division, which was fifth. They are now guaranteed to finish fourth, although sitting strongly in second place, they are hoping for much more.

Before the match, keeper Carl Tasker also received a belated appearance award from club chairman Steve Davis.

Berko entertain last year’s champions London Colney this Saturday.

If The Comrades win this and their following two games they will be promoted to either the Southern or Isthmian League.

With so much at stake there should be another good crowd at Broadwater

Berko: Carl Tasker, Ollie Cox, Josh Chamberlain, Steve Hawes, Garry Jones, Adam Mead, Alex Campana, Jack Stevens (Ben Bateman), Matt Bateman (Sean Coughlan), Dan Jones, Ashton Campbell. Subs not used: James Weatherill , Adiel Mannion and Elliot Amadieu.