A five star second half performance earned Berkhamsted the points to stay top of the table- having won all their league games in August. In the first half they struggled into the wind at Stony Stratford and Eddie Farmer saved from point blank range and stopped a free header in the first 10 minutes to keep a clean sheet. Keeping Berko’s prolific strike force quiet for the opening half was easily the home side’s best performance of the season but it was not to last. A half time rollicking from Mick Vipond spurred the visiting team on to greater things after the interval.

James Armstrong was now proving tough to handle and was hauled down for a penalty on the hour mark. Lawrence Bunker stepped up to net from the spot kick. Bunker added another goal when he pounced on a weak back pass and rounded Carl Simm to score. The keeper then got his marching orders for lashing out with a kick at Bunker after the goal was scored.

Matt Wardle cut into the penalty area and crossed for the irrepressible Armstrong to head past the replacement keeper to keep his run going of scoring in all the Comrades’ games this season. He then netted his 8th of the season with a shot into the bottom corner of the goal, after the ball was laid back to him following good work on the left by Tony Burnett, who provided the cross.

Bunker completed the late flurry of goals by scoring his second away hat trick of the season in injury time with his second penalty. Another foul on Armstrong earned the spot kick. The Berko goals for tally is now an amazing 30 in just 6 games this season.

Steve Hawes took the man of the match award -again outstanding in defence in the continued absence of Simon Carmichael. Berko are now 3 points clear at the top of the table as they are again chasing promotion.

Team; Farmer, Groves , Wilson J. Carmichael,  Hawes, Welling (Watts), Wardle, Bunker, Armstrong,  Burnett, Usmani. (Subs. not used. Aquila , Bartlett , Milner & Boad).

Berko’s reserves went down 3-1 at home to Hartley Wintney in the Suburban League. Teenager Josh Chamberlain gave the home side the lead with a shot from the left off the insde of the far post. Dan Noble saved well but the loose ball was crossed to Tom Stapleton who headed the equaliser before the interval. Simon Annetts and a header from Lee Peters added to the visitors tally in the second half.

On Saturday Berkhamsted go to struggling Ampthll Town looking to hang on to their 100% record. Then on Wednesday 8th September they travel to Barton to play Crawley Green, a side that are unbeaten in the league this season. The strength of Mick Vipond’s squad has been proved as the wins have come with quite a few players missing but competition for places is coming soon. Full back Jamie Gavin should be available again and Berko hope to have centre half Simon Carmichael back soon from his appendix operation to bolster the defence. Adam Mead is recovering from stitches after a clash of heads in the win over Amersham and left back Lewis Rodrigoe who has not played yet this season, is now out of plaster.

On Wednesday 1st Berko entertain Chalfont St Peter in the league and then on Saturday Berkhamted’s reserve side entertain Chesham United in the Suburban League Cup. Then on Wednesday night it is back to league action at home to Boreham Wood.

Grant Hastie


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