We travelled to face top of the table Berkhamstead Raiders on Wednesday night. Midweek games are often a ball ache for getting players there with work commitments etc. That being said we had a full squad to choose from only leading scorer Darryl Smith missed out due to holiday.
The venue of Kings Langley FCs ground was excellent with a top drawer playing surface to match which suited both teams.
We kept the same starting XI from Saturdays win at Mursley with Shaun Ennis (Honeymoon), Jamie Cox (Holiday) returning to take their place on the bench alongside new signing Danny Simpson and Will Wright and Ben Green.
Due to a mix up with the kits we had to play in bibs due to a potential colour clash which had a touch of the Sunday morning football about it.
The game started and with the surface being what it was the ball was being moved around, we were a little sluggish at the start but found some rhythm especially down our right where Tommy Cooke was having plenty of the ball and a good degree of joy against the opposition left back.
Berkhamstead were tidy in possession but we had the lion’s share of possession without creating too much in the way of clear cut chances.
Tommy should have hit the target when sliding in at the back post. Berkhamstead should have taken the lead with their best chance of the match on 20 minutes, we turned possession over on the edge of their box and they broke quickly which resulted in the Berko player firing over from well inside the area
We took the lead on 25 minutes when a quick free kick from keeper Liam Jahn found Tommy on the right, Tommy beat the left back and squared for Jakk Pursey to score from close range.
We made this 2-0 four minutes later when a corner led to a some ping pong in the Berko box, eventually falling to Smudge who set up Tommy to finish into the far corner. We had a couple more chances in the half but couldn’t take them and we arrived at the break with the scores still 2-0.
The 2nd half we again started with decent possession but as the half wore on Berko came more into the game. Danny Simpson came on for Toby Cribb up top with 25 minutes to play. We continued to find good openings without being able to apply the right final ball or finish. With 18 minutes to go Will came on for Bhas who picked up a knee injury. With legs starting to show Jamie Cox came on for Jakk Pursey. Defensively we were called into more action in the final 10 minutes but managed to keep a clean sheet to take the 3 points and return to the top of the early season table.
Man of the Match was Ross Butler.
Liam Jahn 7
Zac Ferris 8
Ross Butler 9
Dan Smith 8
Aaron Bhasin 8
Jacob Hack 7
Peter Maxey 8
Scott Valentine 7
Jakk Pursey 8
Toby Cribb 7
Tommy Cooke 8