Burnett at the Double to Claim Cup Win for Comrades

CRAWLEY GREEN 1 BERKHAMSTED 2

The new Berkhamsted made their debut in the FA Cup with Budweiser and earned a trip to Haringey Borough in the preliminary round on September 3rd with a fine second half performance that saw them come from behind to win up the slope at Barton Rovers against Crawley Green.

Berko had the first chance when a defender kicked off his own goalline as Lawrence Bunker flicked a cross from Josh Chamberlain goalwards. However, Stuart Strange found some space on the left and beat two men before firing a shot past Ed Farmer to open the scoring in just the 8th minute.

Kevin Lane in the home goal almost carried the ball over his own line as he saved an Aaron Usmani header. Strange was proving the star man for Green and he shot wide with his right foot to miss a good chance. Chamberlain kept out his next effort by heading off the line. Berko did not really get going in the first half but might have equalised when a cross from Matt Wardle created a chance but Dale Sears and then Simon Carmichael had shots blocked and eventually Green cleared their defensive line.

Crawley Green were prepared to sit on their lead and sat back in the second half trying to withstand Berko’s attacks.Both sides made substitutions early in the second half. The home team lost Sam Peverall to a knee injury, whilst Berko added some badly needed width as Tony Burnett returned after missing recent matches through holiday. Within minutes Berko had the chance to level when an intelligent ball from Wardle found Bunker in the penalty area and keeper Lane caught his leg to set up a spot kick. However, Bunker who already has nine goals this season blasted the penalty kick against the cross bar and it rebounded to safety. Ten minutes later Bunker earned yet another penalty after tricking his way past a couple of men on the byline and going down. This time the spot kick was entrusted to Burnett and he made no mistake with a shot into the corner of the net to level the scores.

Mick Vipond was pleased with the character shown by his players as they kept battling for the winner. Burnett came up trumps with a superb goal in the closing stages. A long kick up the hill from Farmer was nodded on by Usmani to Burnett who showed great control, to turn and when the ball dropped hit the winning goal.

Comrades: Farmer, Welling, Chamberlain, J. Carmichael, S. Carmichael, Clark (Burnett),  Sears, Hawes, Bunker, Wardle, Usmani (Wright). Subs not used  Gavin and Burgess.

Berko’s Reserves started their Suburban League season on Saturday at home to AFC Hayes. They were a man down for eighty minutes, and went a goal down shortly after the interval but they showed great spirit and ability throughout, with Rowan Taylor getting a deserved equaliser late on to earn a point.

Berkhamsted are looking for additional help in keeping their successful footballers healthy by wielding the magic sponge and treating match day injuries.There are two vacancies to be filled by people that as a minimum have a first aid certificate and are available on Saturday afternoons throughout the football season. There are also some midweek matches to be covered. A physiothereapy or other treatment of injuries qualification is desirable for at least one of the posts. If you can help please phone Scott White on 07771 2049561 or e-mail him at scottwhite@gmx.com.

Second in the table Berko expect to have full back Jordan Toomey available for their trip to Hertford Town on Saturday.

Then on Tuesday 30th Berko will miss the suspended Lawrence Bunker when they entertain Hatfield Town in another league game. Before the match the Comrades will be presented with the Sir Stanley Rous Memorial Trophy by the Herts FA for their achievements last season in winning Division One and promotion by a large margin.

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