Comrades race 10 points clear

Berkhamsted 3 – 0 Padbury United

by Grant Hastie

The Comrades took the points in the vital battle between the top two at rainy Broadwater on Tuesday night to move 10 points clear at the top of the table, although if Aston Clinton were to win their games in hand they would be only a point behind.

It was a convincing win with the usual suspects of Lawrence Bunker, James Armstrong and Tony Burnett getting the goals for Berkhamsted. Mick Vipond gave debuts to new signings from Bletchely Town, the Carmichael brothers at centre back (Jim and Simon) and they were rarely troubled with Graeme Milner having a quiet night in goal to keep a second clean sheet of the week.

The opening goal came in just the 4th minute when Armstrong rattled the bar so hard it almost rebounded out of the penalty area, but Bunker netted with a composed finish, scoring for the fifth game on the trot. Top scorer Armstrong was having his best game for a while and scored with another fine strike to double the lead in the 38th minute. Lee Smith pulled off the save of the night to deny Lee Groves at the canal end when Bunker laid the ball into his path after good work by Armstrong.

There was concern in the second half when Armstrong came off with a hamstring injury, being replaced by Mitchell Hamilton. Lee White was carried off with an ankle injury for the visitors who had three men booked and their manager sent off as the referee kept order. The pattern did not alter with Tony Burnett hitting the 3rd goal in the 79th minute. Bunker beat several defenders, but an offside flag ruined a promising move as Berkhamsted looked to increase their lead.

As the season move to its climax Berko are hitting top form, winning all four of their league games in March to give themselves an excellent chance of winning the division in their debut season.

Team: Milner; Groves, Bartlett, S Carmichael, J Carmichael, (Gerrard), Wilson, Hawes, Burnett, Armstrong (Hamilton), Bunker, Rodrigoe. Subs not used: Boad, Mortimer & Hattan.

On Saturday, top of the table Berkhamsted go to Old Bradwell United, looking for revenge over a side that are now bottom of the table, but pulled off a surprise 1-0 win at Broadwater back in August.

Berkhamsted reserves have a busy Easter entertaining The 61 FC Luton on Saturday (ko 3pm) and then go to Cranfield United on Easter Monday (ko12 noon).

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