Frustration for fans at basement outfit
GOALS from Lewis Ison and Callum Ebanks in the space of three first half minutes were only enough to earn Stratford Town a 2-2 draw at Southern League Premier Central basement boys Berkhamsted on Tuesday night.
The home side reduced the arrears late in the half and then levelled two minutes after the break to leave manager Gavin Hurren and the travelling supporters frustrated as further chances for the Bards went begging.
Heavy traffic ensured the team bus was late arriving at the ground but Stratford made a decent start with the impressive Jack Storer forcing home keeper Jamie Head into a save after just seven minutes.
Ebanks had an effort blocked in front of goal soon after before the breakthrough came on 15 minutes when a peach of a corner from Storer picked out Ison who diverted the ball home at the near post.
No sooner had the celebrations finished then the Bards struck again. Storer was again heavily involved, showing great skill to beat two players before sending Ebanks in on goal and the former Cheltenham Town striker calmly placed his shot past the keeper.
But having eased their way into a two-goal lead, the Bards allowed Berkhamsted back into the contest and they reduced the deficit on 38 minutes when a long throw was not dealt with and Edu fired home from inside the area.
Riley O’Sullivan saw an effort pushed onto the bar by the home keeper only for the linesman to flag for an earlier incident and Max Bustamante Macaire then put an effort over the Stratford bar.
New signing Sami Bessadi hauled the hosts level on 47 minutes, taking advantage of some sloppy defending to fire past Liam O’Brien and it then needed some good work from skipper Paul McCone to keep the league strugglers at bay.
Hurren had made two changes at the break with Charlie Williams and Dylan Barkers replacing the injured Storer and Dan Vann and it was Williams who looked to inspire the Bards with some scintillating work down the right in the final half hour.
It was from one of his crosses that Ebanks had a goalbound effort blocked and then, 20 minutes from time, the same combination led to the goalscorer shotting against the foot of the post with Head beaten.
O’Brien was called on to make one vital save, blocking a Mcaire effort.
Berkhamsted: Head, Williams, Silford, Newton, McClelland, Massingham, Bessadi, Martin, Tolny-Pendred (Johnson 60), Toomey, Bustamanate MacAire (Lawal 86). Subs not used; Austin, Luwero, Smith
Stratford Town: O’Brien, Vann (Barkers 46), Worley, Daly, McCone, Solanke, Storer (Williams 46), Ison, Ebanks, Lafferty, R O’Sullivan. Subs not used: Beresford, D O’Sullivan, Wildbore.
Referee: Dennis Miranda
Bards Star Man: Paul McCone