Jowle delivers to hand the Comrades a vital three points against Hadley

Ed Canham in action. Picture (c) Phil Hobbs

Ed Canham in action. Picture (c) Phil Hobbs

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Second-placed Berkhamsted notched their second win in the space of 48 hours on Saturday as they saw off Hadley 1-0 courtesy of a solitary strike from Frankie Jowle.

Comrades boss Mick Vipond named an unchanged side for the SSML Premier Division clash after seeing his side beat Hanwell 4-2 in the Challenge Trophy on Thursday night.

And despite the Comrades being far from their best, they ground out the win to keep up their hopes of winning the title.

“Saturday was a really poor performance to be honest but that’s what you get when you are playing so many matches in quick succession,” said Vipond.

“You wouldn’t ask a pro footballer to do that and they are super fit – not to mention they won’t have done a day’s work beforehand.

“The most important thing on Saturday was just to get the three points and we did that. The pressure to get points is massive.

“In all honesty, we should probably have made a few changes to the team –I’ll have to start playing myself at this rate!

“But we just keep trying to win games and pick up points. We are just taking every game as it comes now.”

The Comrades came close to an early goal when James Towell came forward from full-back and sent over a deep cross to Jack Copson, who volleyed over at the Canal End.

Hadley’s lively forwards threatened occasionally, but the one time they got the ball in the net, the goal was disallowed for offside.

Jowle netted what proved to be the decisive goal in the first half when he capitalised on a misdirected defensive header to run clear and shoot past Hadley keeper Nick Hardy.

Buoyed by the goal, Berko looked for a second and Jamie Gavin hit the post before Ed Canham was forced off with a back injury.

There were chances at both ends in the second half, with Berko’s Ashley Morrissey making a goal-line clearance and Connor Calcutt shooting narrowly wide for the hosts.

Morrissey beat three men and saw his shot blocked, while substitute Josh Chamberlain was unlucky to be denied a penalty when he seemed to be pushed over late on.

Berko held on for the three points, but there was no change in the league table with the top four sides all winning on Saturday.

At the time the Gazette went to press, the Comrades were preparing for a home semi-final with London Colney in the Premier Division Cup .

On Thursday evening they visit London Colney in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Trophy, before returning to league action on Saturday with a trip to Hillingdon Borough.