Comrades’ perfect start comes to an end

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Hertford 2 Berkhamsted 1

BERKHAMSTED suffered their first league defeat since November 2010 as lowly Hertford consigned them to a 2-1 loss.

Tony Burnett gave the Comrades the lead from the penalty spot after seven minutes, but goals either side of half-time from hosts Hertford turned the game on its head.

The home team went into the game without a point so far this season, while Berko were flying high after a 100 per cent record at the start of the new league campaign.

However, new Hertford coach Pablo Ardiles – son of former Argentina star Ossie – got off to a fine start at the helm.

It was Berko, though, who made the brighter start of the two teams, and took the lead through Burnett’s spot-kick after Matt Wardle had been fouled in the area by opposition keeper Lee Robinson.

But Hertford did not have to wait long for an equaliser and were back on level terms 10 minutes later thanks to Mark Draper’s header.

Berko boss Mick Vipond was forced into an early change as Josh Chamberlain replaced the injured Steve Hawes, but the visitors pushed to regain the lead and Aaron Usmani and Dale Sears both went close.

However, it was the hosts who struck next to take the lead early in the second half as Chamberlain lost the ball and Lee Roberts pounced to hit a fierce low shot past Comrades keeper Ed Farmer.

Hertofrd nearly extended their lead as Reece Dobson rattled the crossbar, before Berko’s Dan Wright saw his effort blocked on the line.

Both sides continued to create chances as the match progressed, and Chamberlain and Comrades’ substitute Russell Clark both shot over the crossbar before Jordan Toomey hit the woodwork.

And Berko’s misery was compounded late on as Jim Carmichael was dismissed for retaliation, while Wardle missed a golden opportunity to snatch a point as his effort sailed over the crossbar.

On Saturday, Berkhamsted turn their attention to the FA Cup as they travel to White Hart Lane to play fellow Premier Division side Haringey Borough.

The Comrades will be without the suspended Lawrence Bunker.

The winners of the tie will be away to St Albans City in the next round of the competition.