The Sun Sports players, management and fans left Berkhamsted on Tuesday night scratching their heads at how they lost a game they were in full control of for one half..
The first half was a clear indication of how the match was going even though there were no goals in the first half, so when the second started and Jack Stevens was sent off for a second bookable offence it seemed that the points were going to be Watford bound for the first time….but it wasn’t to be.
Sun old boy Ashley Lewis was the main threat for Berko and he made the first move running at the Sun defence but his shot went wide.
Karl Penny looked keen after his hat trick on Saturday and he launched a shot from outside the box which Berko keeper Carl Tasker did well to get down to and pushed the ball to safety.
Stevens was booked for what looked like a perfectly reasonable challenge and from the free kick Tommy Walsh’s shot penetrated the wall and again Tasker was in the right place at the right time to deflect the ball away.
Alex Campana used his tricks on the left to put over a cross which Matty Evans was able to palm away while on the Sun’s left Tom Gibson continued to torment Stevens who pulled him down again but Tom managed to continue with the ball and dragged the ball back across the area but a defender managed to get to the ball before JJ could have a go.
Kyle Johnson held the ball up well throughout the game and when he had the chance to put a cross into the box Scott Bonner stepped up to divert the ball goal-bound but the ball hit a divet and bounced above Scott’s foot leaving the chance to go begging.
Ashley Lewis put another cross in finding Sam Bateman with only the keeper to beat but his attempt at goal went over the bar and headed towards the railway line.
Sun’s intricate passing helped them move forward with pace and they certainly played the better football keeping the ball on the ground whereas Berkhamsted preferred the more direct route.
Kyle Johnson slipped a deft cross into the six yard area finding Karl Penny whose shot narrowly went the wrong side of the post when most of the Sun fans had thought the ball had gone in!
Jack Johnson then made himself some space from midfield and when he was twenty five yards he let fly a shot that beat Tasker and rattled the crossbar. JJ found himself with another long range effort soon after which Tasker saved but only pushed the shot out to Kyle Johnson although Tasker was there again to smother the ball to keep Berko in the game.
The game was turned in the 47th minute when a late tackle by Jack Stevens on Kyle Johnson proved to be the end of the game for him as Stevens was shown a red card to go with his yellow that he picked up in the first half and from there the following free kick from Jack Johnson went just over the crossbar.
But instead of the Comrades capitulating after this cataclysm they ramped up their defences and used their long ball to full advantage, and instead of the Sun spreading the game they went narrow and for some inexorable reason played the same style as the hosts which ended up being their undoing.
Matty Evans was finally called to make a save by coming out to deprive that man again Ashley Lewis from giving Berkhamsted the lead.
A fine pass from Andy Brennan who looked up to see the run from Karl Penny, who managed to beat the offside trap set for him, was nearly through on goal but for a last ditch tackle from Campana.
Hearts were soon in Sun’s mouths when Matty Evans went to clear the ball but it bounced off the bum of Bonner and looped thankfully over the crossbar.
Tommy Walsh and Andy Brennan were both powerful in midfield and made excellent pin point passes throughout the game.
With 77 minutes gone on the clock disaster struck for the Sun when a shot from Sam Bateman was blocked and deflected by Brennan which looped over Matty Evans who furiously back pedalled but was unable to stop the ball from dropping under the crossbar to give Bateman his first goal for the Comrades.
With five minutes to go and Ashton Campbell was reputed to have been brought down by Evans for a penalty. Matty disputed this incident with the referee but to no avail and Dan Jones stepped up to convert the spot kick.
So the Sun came away with no points again from Broadwater and will now face four games in the space of one week to finish the season off.