Wodston Park 5-2 Berkhamsted: match report

By Grant Hastie

An under-strength Comrades went out of the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy at Ware on Saturday to a Wodson Park side who took their chances well. It was Berko’s first defeat on their travels since August.

Lewis Rodrigoe conceded a free kick in the 10th minute, which was launched to the back post where Ross Murphy opened the scoring.

Berko were to none too happy to find themselves conceding a second goal from a dead ball, when a corner found its way to Jack Friend who netted at the back post, with goalkeeper Daniel Noble prevented from intercepting the cross by being bundled into the net on the referee’s blind side.

With the visitors looking lethargic, the home side were sharper to the ball and dominated the midfield. They often had men over in that department as they left only the odd striker up front for the flat Berko back four to deal with, so Berko were reduced to hitting long balls. Berko’s best chances came from free kicks and corners with a defender heading off the line to deny a header from Steve Boad. Matt Tyler rounded Steve Pratt to make it 3-0 and Steve Horsey stretched the lead to 4-0 just before the interval.

At half time, Russell Chandler came on to add some width and Pratt was moved into midfield. Berko were still missing their tackles on a tricky surface and both sides had three men booked for fouls including Andy Chapman, Antony Beamish and Lewis Rodrigoe for the visitors.

Matt Taylor scored an embarrassing 5th goal for the home side who then made a double substitution. Berko introduced Steve Flain and Jamie Gavin in an attempt to liven up their play. Flain’s expertly flighted cross allowed James Armstrong to nod a goal back for the Comrades, taking his tally to 24 for the season. Another deep cross from Chandler found skipper Beamish who nodded another goal to make it 5-2.

However, Berko could not get any more in the last quarter of an hour so Wodson Park will be at home to Kings Langley in the quarter final. To make matters worse Berko lost their place at the top of the league table as whilst they were in cup action Aston Clinton won to go a point clear at the top.

Team: Noble; Pratt, Rodrigoe, Chapman (J.Gavin), Beamish, Boad ( Chandler), Gerrard, Hawes, Armstrong, Burnett, Davies (Flain).

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