Hertford Town 3 Berkhamsted 3
Berkhamsted began their league campaign with an entertaining draw at Hertford on Saturday as they launched a spirited second half fight-back.
Trailing 2-0 after 10 minutes and 3-1 at half-time, the Comrades responded well and salvaged a point with a late Lewis Pritchard strike.
And Berko boss Mick Vipond was understandably pleased to have come away from the game with a draw.
“On the hottest day we I have ever experienced in football, the players were really caught cold in the first 10 minutes,” he said.
“Although I said to the players after the game that I wouldn’t want to sunbathe out there, let alone try and play football!
“We were poor early on but we had some strong words at half-time and we really turned it around.”
On a scorching hot day, Vipond had given a first Berko start to Lewis Pritchard in place of the unavailable Lawrence Bunker.
But the Comrades were left shell-shocked as Hertford went two goals up inside the first 10 minutes courtesy of efforts from Malachi Brissett and Billy Healey.
Connor Calcutt pulled one back soon afterwards with a header from a Frankie Jowle cross, but Billy Healey restored Hertford’s two-goal advantage in the 29th minute.
Craig Preston was then forced to clear the ball off his own line for Berko, before Jordon Frederick fired a shot just over the bar as the interval approached.
Berko manager Vipond clearly let his players know what he thought of their first half performance, however, as Berko came out with renewed vigour and intent after the break.
Berko’s leading scorer Calcutt pulled it back to 3-2 early in the second half with an exquisite lob, before and Healey hit the Berko bar twice in quick succession.
Bekim Culaj came on for the Comrades to replace the unwell Lewis Rodrigoe, who had suffered a reaction to a bee sting, and Aaron Usmani and Harry Sedgley were also introduced from the Berko bench.
However, it was Pritchard who rescued the Comrades with his first goal of the season with six minutes left to play.
The striker unleashed a screamer to open his account for his new club, and ensured that Berko made it four games unbeaten at the start of the new campaign.
“All in all it actually felt like a win for us in the end,” said Vipond.