STRATFORD Town surrendered an early two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with lowly Berkhamsted as the Bards missed the chance to secure just their second away win of the season.
Lewis Ludford-Ison and Callum Ebanks put Stratford in command with two quickfire goals only for the home side to strike either side of the break to rescue a point at the Glencar Community Stadium.
And the result means the Bards sit 14th in the Southern League Premier Central table, five points outside of the play-off places.
The two teams came into the fixture on the back of contrasting results after Stratford scored a last-minute winner while Berkhamsted conceded nine in a heavy defeat in their respective weekend fixtures.
And Stratford made a bright start, forcing a succession of corners as Jack Storer’s excellent delivery evaded everyone in the box after both Dan Lafferty and Ludford-Ison went close.
However, the Bards broke the deadlock on 15 minutes when Ludford-Ison met Storer’s free-kick to leave Berkhamsted goalkeeper Jamie Head with no chance.
And the visitors doubled their lead just two minutes later as Ebanks produced a cool finish after excellent work from Storer who left several defenders in his wake.
After having a penalty shout turned down by the referee, the home side halved the deficit on 38 minutes when Eduard Toiny-Pendred’s shot went through a crowd of bodies from Max Bustamante Macaire’s long throw.
However, the Bards spurned a glorious chance to restore their two-goal cushion soon after as Ison and Dan Vann were both denied by Head after good play between Tom Solanke and Lafferty.
And Berkhamsted levelled two minutes into the second half as Sami Bessadi finished past Bards goalkeeper Liam O’Brien from close range.
Bards keeper O’Brien then made an excellent save to keep out Toiny-Pendred’s effort with Stratford screaming for offside.
And O’Brien came to the away side’s rescue again later in the half, denying Bustamante Macaire after the Berkhamsted man went through on goal.
Stratford are next in action away at Nantwich Town on Saturday, October 28 in the FA Trophy with kick-off at 3pm at Weaver Stadium.