First half goals from Tom Carter and Steve Hawes saw Berkhamsted overcome a tricky home tie against Hertford Town as they ran out 2-1 winners on Tuesday night.
The home team started in trademark cavalier fashion, and it didn’t take long for their efforts to come to fruition when Carter arrived at the far post to tap in Frankie Jowle’s shot from the right.
The lead was doubled midway through the first half when Hawes added a second to give the Comrades a more commanding lead as his shot whistled between the dive of the despairing Harry Ricketts and the post.
It was a lead no more than the home team deserved, and it could have been 3-0 had the crossbar not come to the rescue of the visitors.
Hertford did go into the break with something to fight for, however, thanks to Ross Clemo’s spectacular swerving, dipping drive from outside the area that gave Berko keeper Carl Tasker no chance.
After half-time Hertford came out energised and purposeful. They nearly equalised soon after the restart as James Ewington bore down on goal but Tasker was down low to save at his feet.
The Blues had further opportunities and the Comrades had the goalkeeper and post to thank for preserving their lead. Captain Sam Ruff’s free-kick was put onto the crossbar by Tasker and he was on hand again to tip Leigh Rose’s drive onto the bar minutes later.
Berkhamsted weathered the storm, however, and held out for an important three points that sees them cut Hertford’s advantage to three points, with three games in hand on their Herts rivals.
Berko: Tasker, Mead, Weeks, Baldry, Ladyman, Rodrigoe, Jowle, Hawes (17 Jackson), Carter, Campana, Farrelly. Subs not used: 12 Frederick, 14 Canham, 15 Carbery, 16 Edwards.
Berko now face three away Premier Pivision games in a week, visiting St Margaretsbury on Saturday, league leaders AFC Dunstable on Tuesday and Welwyn Garden City on Thursday.
In the Suburban League, Berko entertain Hartley Wintney Reserves on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.