Royston v Comrades

Tues 4th Oct 2011 MSSML Premier

ROYSTON TOWN 2 v 4 BERKHAMSTED

Berko welcomed back four first teamers after injury and upped their game to notch an excellent away win at Royston, who had previously won 9 of their 10 league games this season. The opening goal came in the 8th minute when Matt Wardle won a free kick. Fit again Tyler Hatherly sent over the dead ball to the near post where Wardle flashed a header in. Tony Burnett almost doubled the lead with a great run and shot that cracked against the post, before rebounding to safety.

Royston often had a man over on the left wing and equalised on the half hour mark through Kahn Fehmi. It was an open end to end first half with plenty chances for both sides. Ed Farmer was in majestic form collecting crosses under pressure and made a brilliant reaction save to put a close range header over the bar when the home fans thought they were sure to score.

Playing up the hill, Royston put Berko under a lot of pressure early in the second half and Ricky Young gave them the lead when he found space and finished with a fine half volley. Seven minutes later Berko were back on level terms when  Hatherly was brought down for a free kick, which he took himself and beat Jordan Gibson with a well placed shot. However, Tommy Mallins should have put the Crows back in front when he was unmarked and got on the end of an inviting cross, but he headed the ball against the cross bar.

Adam Balletta, promoted from the reserves at left back in place of the injured Lewis Rodrigoe put Berko in front again with a long range shot that squirmed under the body of the embarrassed home keeper Gibson. In the end the difference between the two sides boiled down to the quality of the goalkeepers as Farmer was superb throughout. Despite the excellent football on show, the referee wanted to be the centre of attention and Berko’s fit again trio of Jim Carmichael, Mark Welling and Hatherly were all booked for fouls. Royston also picked up four yellow cards but most of theirs were for dissent. Teenager Josh Chamberlain made sure of the points with a shot from the edge of the area that went through a crowd of players and past Gordon, with 5 minutes left.

Royston then got the ball in the net but the assistant referee spotted the foul that caused Farmer to drop the ball, so it was disallowed. In the final minute Royston were reduced to 10 men when Ashley Grinham got the 5th home yellow card, which was followed by a red, as it was his second of the night.

Comrades: Farmer, Gavin, Balletta J. Carmichael, S. Carmichael, Welling, Wardle, Hawes (Clark). Chamberlain, Burnett, Hatherly. Subs. not used: Harewood-Williams, Hewitt & Boad.

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