Kings Langley thump Berkhamsted to move 16 points clear at the top

Lewis Toomey was on target for Kings Langley. Picture (c) Chris Riddell
Lewis Toomey was on target for Kings Langley. Picture (c) Chris Riddell

Kings Langley are on the cusp of clinching the SSML Premier Division title after moving 16 points clear at the top with a 4-1 victory over Berkhamsted on Tuesday night.

Kings passed their FA ground grading this week so they are all set to move up to the Southern League next season after ending Berko’s four-match winning run.

In truth it was a dour goalless first half at Gaywood Park, notable only for a sweetly struck volley from Comrades striker BJ Christie that was tipped away for a corner.

However the second half produced plenty of goals. Berko’s Josh Chamberlain, back after illness, put the visitors in front to finish a fine move when he got on the end of a low Courtney Massay cross and beat his man at the back post to fire home.

However, that only served to prod the champions elect into action, and a penalty appeal for handball against Jamie Gavin was turned down.

Within a quarter of an hour, Langley had produced a devastating three-goal burst as Berko’s defensive frailties were again exposed.

Skipper Luke Ladyman came forward and equalised as Berko failed to clear their lines, and Comrades boss Mick Vipond responded with a double substitution in the hope of going on to win the game.

However, ex-Hemel striker Lewis Toomey deflected a shot into the net to put Langley in front, before Stuart Deaton came forward to nod home the third goal.

With 10 minutes left the crowd heard Gavin break his arm as he landed in severe pain – after a 30-minute delay he was taken off to hospital.

Berko’s minds were understandably elsewhere when play resumed, and Mitchell Weiss flicked home the fourth goal for Kings, getting a touch to a cross from the right wing.

Berko: 1 Tasker, 2 Massay, 3 Rodrigoe, 4 Gavin (14 Foster), 5 Baldry,6 Hawes, 7 Jowle (15 Farrelly), 8 To, 9 Christie, 10 Mannion, 11 Chamberlain (12 Morrissey). Subs not used - 17 Barnes & 16 Kelly.

Ed Canham will be back after suspension in place of Gavin on Saturday when Berko go to Holmer Green who are desperate for points to get out of the relegation zone.

The Comrades are next at home on Tuesday when they entertain third placed London Colney at Broadwater.

Berko’s reserve team are top of their division and entertain Harefield United on Saturday in their last Suburban North home game of the season.