A burst of three goals in the space of ten minutes at the start of the second half was the decisive factor as Berkhamsted Raiders Blues under-13s started the new South Bucks League season with a convincing 7-3 win over Chesham Athletic.
Despite having the best of the opening quarter of an hour, Raiders found themselves a goal down.
However, as manager Darren Heneghan said: “The reaction to going behind was exactly what I would have hoped for.”
They were level within three minutes when Luke Mathison smashed home a half-cleared corner from just inside the box and took a 2-1 lead shortly afterwards when Paddy Read cut in off the right flank and stroked the ball into the far corner.
It was still 2-1 at the break but Raiders moved up a gear after the restart and were 5-1 ahead within 10 minutes.
Mathison made it 3-1 when he converted Tom Foley’s low cross before Finnlee Ferguson bundled home the fourth from a Will Smooker corner.
With Ryan Colmer and Gabriel Millson now anchoring the Raiders defence, they could afford to push men forward, and it was 5-1 in the 50th minute, Ferguson crossing from the right for Mathison to complete his hat-trick with a smart near-post finish.
Athletic hit back with two goals of their own in a minute but the Raiders responded with two more.
A minute from time, Colmer’s pinpoint through-ball was converted with a shot on the turn from Ferguson.
And then in stoppage time Oscar Lenane made it 7-3 when he turned in Smooker’s drag back from the by-line.