Draw puts Comrades top of league

by Grant Hastie

The weather may have made Lawrence Bunker wait a long time for his debut since signing from Pitstone & Ivinghoe, but once the football started, he soon made his mark for Berkhamsted opening the scoring in the 8th minute. Tony Burnett rang strongly down the left wing and crossed for James Armstrong. Home keeper, Gary Duncan beat out Armstrong’s shot but the ball fell to Bunker who fired home. Steve Hawes, Armstrong and Russell Chandler combined well on the right and the latter’s cross was met by the head of Bunker, but Duncan saved. The home side thought they had equalised when, on a pudding of a pitch, Antony Beamish could not get the ball back to keeper Graeme Milner and Gary Capethorn netted but was ruled offside. Henry Mungwira, who was a handful throughout the match, equalised just before the interval when he got to a cross that Milner could not reach and shot home the leveller. At the other end Armstrong shot wide before the half time whistle went.

The second half got off to a flying start when Bunker tricked his way into the penalty area and got a penalty when he went down in a tackle. Duncan dived well to his left to pull off a fine save and send the ball for a corner, to keep out Armstrong’s penalty that was hit hard. It was a surprise that neither side could add to their goal tally in the second half. Milner, one of the few Berkhamsted players to be in form after the long lay off, denied another shot from Mungwira. At the other end Berko had a couple of penalty appeals turned down, once when Bunker took a tumble and one that was ruled ball to hand rather than vice versa. Andy Chapman came on for the visitors to try and keep Mungwira under control and Adam Mead joined him in a bid to unlock the determined Totternhoe defence.

Jamie Gavin shot wide as did Bunker and a Steve Hawes shot was saved as Berko pressed for the winner, but they always had to be careful as Totternhoe broke dangerously down the slope. Ross Scott was booked for fouling Bunker and James McCarthy also picked up a yellow card.

The draw was probably a fair result on the day. The point from their first league game in over 2 months was good enough to move Berkhamsted back to the top of the table on goal difference from Aston Clinton, who were in county cup action.

Team; Milner; Chandler, Rodrigoe, Wilson, Beamish (Chapman), J Gavin, Gerrard, Hawes, Armstrong (Mead), Burnett, Bunker. Subs not used: Boad and Groves.

On Saturday Berkhamsted hope to get back to winning ways and notch their first double of the season when they travel to Mursley United for a league game that kicks off at 2pm.

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