Berkhamsted made it seven games unbeaten after drawing 1-1 away at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday to put them in seventh place in the Evo-Stik South Central Division One table
Ashley Morrissey, last season’s player of the year, returned after getting international clearance from a spell in Germany, and Luke Daley was in goal for the unavailable James Weatherill.
The ball moved slowly on Coldfield’s 3G pitch and Berko’s Manny Folarin misjudged a bounce to concede a 12th minute penalty. Lee Smith beat Daley from the spot to give the hosts the lead.
The first period was scrappy and both sides picked up yellow cards and injuries on a difficult surface that had to be relaid last year after just six years of use.
Berko equalised in the 68th minute when Coldfield keeper Lewis Gwilliams was blinded by the sun and missed a cross, allowing sub Louis Austin to nod it on to Matt Bateman, who scored for the seventh consecutive game with a close-range header .
Sutton are hovering just outside the relegation zone but Berko held on to earn a valuable point despite Coldfield hitting the bar in added time.
Berko: Daley, Folarin, Murphy, Farrelly, Kinnane, Jones, Towell, Adams (Anthony), Bateman, Summerfield (Austin), Morrissey (Mannion).
In midweek a second-half burst of three goals in nine minutes settled Tuesday night’s Herts Senior Cup first-round tie in Berko’s favour as they ran out 3-0 winners at London Colney.
Garry Jones was recalled to the defence after injury and Ross Adams also returned. Berko boss Steve Bateman also gave Marcus Campbell and Ibrahim Lukulay their first starts for a month.
The first-half was tight with Colney showing good movement up front and some fine passing. Lukulay opened the game up in the second-half with a cross to Adams, whose shot beat the Colney keeper but rebounded off the far post.
Next time Lukulay beat three men on the right and Adams scored from the cross.
Matt Bateman came off the bench and when Lukulay was brought down on the edge of the box, Bateman netted with a low free-kick with just his second touch of the match.
Adiel Mannion controlled the ball at the back post to net the third to conclude a great spell for The Comrades.
At the end of November Berko will be away in the second round to Stevenage, who won 7-0 at Sawbridgeworth Town on the same night.
This Saturday Berko travel to Chipstead in the FA Trophy first qualifying round. Chipstead are from the same division as South Park who Berko beat the previous Saturday.
Last night (Tuesday) Berko were at Didcot Town in the league as the Gazette was going to press.