Berko games are beginning to fall into a pattern as for the third time running they played away, went behind and came back to rescue a draw. Manager Mick Vipond again had to reshuffle the pack with Dale Sears working, and defenders Adam Bevan and Lee Butler injured from the Stotfold game. However, Dan Griggs was back after suspension and Lewis Rodrigoe and Glenn Thompson were fit again and teenager Mitchell Cole was included in the starting eleven for the first time.

Neither goalkeeper had a real save to make in the first half with Hadley enjoying a lot of possession with their neat passing game but failing to carve out chances. The packed Berko defence was not relieving much pressure by hitting long balls forward that the home side gobbled up. Hakim Medfai broke clear but fired over the bar early on. There was an appeal for a penalty when a Jordon Frederick shot hit a defender’s hand- but play was waved on. Berko’s best chance was just before the interval when Jamie Gavin headed wide from a Josh Chamberlain cross.

Berko were totting up the fouls and Myles Stepehenson, Pritchard and substitute Frankie Jowle all got yellow cards in the second half as did two home players, the last of which was Alexis Nicoals for taking a dive. The opening goal came in the 70th minute and was awarded by the assistant referee when a free kick was met by a powerful header from centre half Tony Sebag that hit the post and was ruled to be over the line before Carl Tasker grabbed it.

That prompted Berko to bring on two more of the under 18 side in Harry Sedgley and Ashley Morrissey and their extra energy saw Berko on top in the last quarter of an hour. A mazy run form Morrissey ended with a shot charged down. Chamberlain popped up from left back on the right of the penalty area and played the ball in for Cole to scramble home the equaliser with a shot. Hadley were now happy to cling to a point as they came under pressure from the rejuvenated Comrades.

Tasker; Gavin, Rodrigoe, Chamberlain, Branson, Frederick, Cole ,Griggs (Morrissey), Pritchard , Stephenson (Jowle). Subs. Not used Twelves & Davies.

On Saturday Berko are at home to Tring Athletic in a local derby that could pull in their largest crowd of the season in another Premier division match. Dale Sears will be available to boost Mick Vipond’s selection options. On Tuesday 5th March Berko are looking to reach the new club’s first ever cup final when they host Chipperfield Corinthians in the semi final of the St Marys Cup. Lee Butler is cup tied for that game.

On Saturday Berko’s reserves will be looking to stay unbeaten in the Suburban Shield when they go to bottom of the table Leverstock Green.

The Delphian division under 18 title could be decided on Thursday 7th March when Berkhamsted entertain table topping Hemel Hempstead Town ko7:30pm.


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