Win sets up Berko for vital home clash against Corby
A second-half goal from Max Farrelly gave Berkhamsted FC a tight 1-0 away win at AFC Dunstable on Saturday as The Comrades maintained their position in the playoff places.
This was Berko’s fifth clean sheet of the month, which has seen them push up the Evo Stik Southern League Division One Central table into fourth spot.
It sets up a tantalising clash against third-ranked Corby Town this Saturday.
Berko began well on a good playing surface on Saturday, passing neatly and finding debutant winger Jonathan Lacey, signed from Leverstock Green last week, and Oran Swales, whose pace and trickery bothered the home defence. Home keeper Connor Sansom made the first real save to keep out Will Summerfield.
A Berko corner from Elliott Godfrey found Ryan Kinnane at the back post but his header was held.
Lacey then broke clear but Sansom saved his shot.
Ex-Comrade BJ Christie was the first of five home players to pick up yellow cards, in his case for a needless challenge on the Berko keeper.
A long throw-in from Berko’s Danny Murphy was headed on by Matt Bateman but Lacey’s shot was deflected wide.
Midway through the first-half, Ryan Frater committed a bad studs-showing tackle on Summerfield and got his marching orders from the referee.
Soon after, Berko thought they should have had a penalty when Leon Cashman handled a free-kick by Murphy, but the referee ruled it accidental.
Kyle Ajayi cut in from the left and curled a shot wide for the hosts.
Dunstable managed to defend well with ten men, if anything, Berko had less chances in the second-half.
But Farrelly was the hero for Berko, winning the match with a low, diving header from a corner.
Fresh legs from Louis Austin and Adiel Mannion created a few chances, with both players going close. Bateman headed wide from a tempting Mannion cross and Sansom kept out a fine shot from Mannion.
The hosts’ Tony Burnett cut in from the left and beat two men but Berko keeper Xavi Comas got down well to hang onto the ball and the win.
Corby arrive at Broadwater this Saturday, the first of three home games in a row.
Next Tuesday night Berko will then look for a place in the quarter-final of the League Challenge Cup when they host fellow promoted side Wewlyn Garden City.
The following Saturday Berko are at home to Yaxley in the league.