Victory keeps Berko on top
A two-goal burst in the first four minutes propelled Berko to a 3-1 win over Stotfold on Saturday and ensured they stayed on top of the table.
Fans were still filing in to Broadwater when Berkhamsted took the lead through the division’s top scorer Stacey Field. He netted from six yards out after a Sean Coughlan cross.
Good work by Dan Jones set up the second for the hosts in the fourth minute with Coughlan netting at the railway end in front of Berko’s enthusiastic young fans.
The Comrades added a third shortly after but it was chalked off when the assistant’s flag went up.
As the gate grew, supporters were wondering if there might be a repeat of the 12-1 scoreline when the clubs met in the FA Cup at the start of the season.
However, the visitors’ goalkeeper Matt Fallon was their man of the match to ensure there would be no replication on Saturday. He was one of only two of their players left from that defeat and the new side was much more resilient.
Berko kept making chances in the first-half with Coughlan hitting the post and Alex Campana the bar after a mazy run. Jon Munday nearly headed in from a Jones corner and Fallon produced a string of fine saves.
Stuart Deaton scored his first goal for the club to make it 3-0 in the 36th minute. Skipper Munday rose to head a corner back across goal and Deaton was there to volley the ball home.
To some extent Berko took their foot of the gas after the interval and manager Steve Bateman used the opportunity to give different players match time.
Deaton had to come off in the second-half to be replaced by Ben Bateman and his shot was saved by Fallon.
Pick of the saves was from a Munday header from a deep free-kick by Adam Mead.
Ashton Campbell came on and broke away but shot wide.
Fallon smothered another Munday header from a Jones cross while Coughlan and Morrissey had chances which went wide.
Stotfold managed to play pinball in the Berko goal and Ashly Morrissey put a stop to it when he instinctively handled on the line to concede a penalty. But Berko keeper Carl Tasker saved Liam Brookes’ resulting penalty kick.
Josh Chamberlain, who has just recovered from a back injury, was eased back into the team from the bench. He headed a Coughlan cross wide and pulled a shot across the face of the goal.
Brookes got a consolation goal to give a scoreline that did not accurately portray the one-sided nature of the game. Stotfold conceded a late free-kick and Mead smashed it against the bar.
Berko: Mead, Rodrigoe, Hawes, Munday, Deaton (Ben Bateman), Campana, Jones (Chamberlain), Field, (Campbell), Coughlan, Morrissey. Subs not used: Osborne and Farrelly.