Quick-fire Comrades move up to second with comfortable win at Harefield

Connor Calcutt heads the ball
Connor Calcutt heads the ball

Berkhamsted climbed up to second place in the SSML Premier Division table as two goals in the first 10 minutes earned them a 2-0 win at Harefield United.

Leading scorer Connor Calcutt and skipper Dale Sears did the damage to ensure Berko go into Christmas hot on the heels of table topping Ampthill Town.

Berko manager Mick Vipond was forced to shuffle his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash with Dan Griggs going down with flu and Ben Butler working, but Steve Hawes, James Bent and Jordon Frederick were all able to return.

And it was not long before the visitors broke the deadlock as Calcutt struck in the fourth minute when he turned in Bent’s effort from a Josh Chamberlain corner.

Buoyed by the early breakthrough, Berko soon made it 2-0 as Ed Canham chested the ball down for Sears to score with his left foot.

The Comrades were at their free-flowing best in the first half, and Harefield keeper Michael Pearce was forced into decent stops to deny Chamberlain and Bent.

An effort from Hawes was blocked on the line, while Calcutt and Frederick missed the target as did Chamberlain when put through on his wrong foot.

United rarely threatened– with only the speedy Jake Girt looking dangerous – and the Berkhamsted dominance continued after the interval when Calcutt intercepted a goal-bound effort from Canham and fired over the bar.

Ashley Morrissey was introduced from the bench when Canham was forced off with a back spasm, but the rearranged Berko defence were rarely threatened and earned a third clean sheet on the trot.

Shots from Morrissey and Frankie Jowle were saved, but the win was already safe and Berko remain five points behind Ampthill with two games in hand.