This weekend a youthful Berkhamsted 2nd looked to secure an elusive victory just before the Christmas break. We turned up in high spirits of taking on a well drilled Harpenden team that had secured the position up at the top of the table that were on a good run of form.
The game was very fast paced and was controlled by a barrage of good attacking runs by both teams. For much of the first half, we spent in our section of the pitch but strong defence from Jamie, Jonathan and Hunt was proving to be difficult for the opposition to overcome. Xavi was as ever having a great game in goal stopping a number of shots and frustrating the opposition. Although, Berkhamsted’s midfielders and forwards looked to counter attack and capitalising on the advantage of our speed dangerously reached the Harpenden D on a number of occasions, challenging the goal keeper. Duncan Hodges provided excellent ball with the strikers in attack and was the critical member of linking the forwards and halves. Unluckily, just before the break, a Harpenden counter attack managed to get past a running Xavi and reached the back of our net. The first half finishing 1-0. Much of the break talk was of high spirits that Berkhamsted were still in this game and looked promising in all forms of the Hockey pitch except from securing a goal. A reinvigorated Berkhamsted team quickly changed its fortunes with a brilliantly constructed team goal which was eventually slotted in by Toby Payton to evade the diving keeper, bringing the scores level. As the game went further into the second half, the game started to open up and once again both teams were challenging each other’s goal on a regular basis. Although, similar to the rest of the season, Berkhamsted conceded a goal in the final 10 minuets that we never were able to respond to, finishing 2-1 to Harpenden. During the game Berkhamsted’s spirits never dropped and we kept trying write up until the final whistle even after a disappointing second goal. It’s fair to say that Harpenden felt lucky to escape with the victory as Berkhamsted had been probing for a goal. Overall, it was an excellent game and Berkhamsted showed great signs of improvement from the start of the season, giving us confidence looking forward into 2019. MoM went deservedly to Jonathan Below for his tireless work in defence.