Comrades go out in semi

Berkhamsted 1 – 1 Mursley United (Murley win 3-4 on penalties)

There was a division Two Cup upset at Broadwater on Saturday, when after extra time and penalties Mursley United got past top of the table Berkhamsted and through to the final with Aston Clinton on a date to be arranged.

Despite most local games being flooded off, groundsman Roger Lambert made sure that there were was no water on the Broadwater pitch. With three players missing through suspension or being cup-tied and top scorer James Armstrong ill, Mick Vipond had to reshuffle his side giving Andy Chapman, and Jon Davies their first starts of 2010, and recalled Lee Groves was recalled.

A Jakub Kasprzyk header from a free kick put the visitors in front after just 10 minutes. However, Berko equalised midway through the first half as Tony Burnett went up the left wing and his return pass released Davies who netted his 14th goal of the season with a low shot.

Adam Mead and Steve Hawes shot wide for the Comrades with two of the better chances. Berkhamsted were running out of forwards, with the prolific Lawrence Bunker and Armstrong watching in the stands, and injuries forced substitutes to replace their other men that have netted double figures this season, with Davies and Burnett retiring.

Steve Flain came on and tried hard to play men in with better passing and holding the ball in a game that had became long ball, with both sides lacking width.

In the closing stages, Martyn Shaw had two good chances for the visitors, beating the offside trap but shooting wide with the first and producing the save of the day from Graeme Milner who dived low to his right in the 89th minute.

In extra time Mead shot wide of the post and substitute Sukure Ebi had a shot held, then Hawes shot over the bar. Berko forced a series of corners and Beamish headed one over the bar but there was little incisiveness.

Mursley went first in the penalty shoot out and Milner saved from skipper Chris Pittam and then Martyn Shaw was the only one to miss the target by shooting over the bar, so Mursley did not score from their first two kicks. Mead put Berko in front and there was the  rare sight of goalkeeper Milner taking a penalty which put Berko 2-1 ahead. Goalkeeper Adam Garratt was the Mursley hero as he pulled of three penalty shoot out saves from Beamish, Hawes and Flain and Mursley netted all of their last three penalties to send the visitors home happy.

Team: Milner; Chapman, Rodrigoe, Wilson,Beamish, Groves, Hawes, Boad (Gerrard), Burnett(Flain), Davies (Ebi), Mead. Subs not used: Chandler and Armstrong.

Berkhamsted  are in cup action again on Saturday when are at home to promotion rivals Padbury United in the quarter final  of the Anagram Records Trophy. It is their last chance to win a cup this season. Mick Vipond should have a stronger squad to pick from as Jamie Gavin can return after suspension and Lawrence Bunker is also available but Mitch Hamilton is again cup tied having played  for Pitstone and Ivinghoe.

New signing from Tring Corinthians, Luke Bartlett who used to play for the old Berkhamsted Town club in the Southern League, could come in to strengthen the defence.

Berko’s reserves go to Hatfield Town on Saturday and entertain Kent Athletic on Tuesday 9th.

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