Berko’s fine FA Cup with Budweiser run came to an end on Saturday in front of over 200 fans at a sunny Broadwater. The Berko side did well to stay level with a team from two divisions higher in the first half, but in the end class told. Teenage striker Jonte Smith, who is on loan from Football League club Crawley hit two second half goals to put the Police in the draw for the next round, despite having only 10 men for the last hour.

The game started well for the Met placing Berkhamsted on the back foot from the off.
After only 40 seconds of the game a ball disected Berko’s defence leaving Jonte Smith through being denied by a great save from Carl Tasker.  Steve Sutherland was unmarked from a corner and headed wide.
Berkhamsted’s impressive teenage forward Connor Calcutt broke free down the right and delivered a dangerous ball across the  6 yard box but nobody reached it. Howard Newton crossed similarly at the canal end but again nobody got on the end of the cross.

Berko began to get in the game with Lewis Pritchard winning a few balls in the air.
In the 15th minute a penalty was awarded following a push from Jay Lovett who was booked. Goalkeeper, Jamie Butler received a dead leg in the incident and there was a five minute injury break to make Josh Chamberlain nervous before the spot kick could be taken. With Lawrence Bunker injured, it fell to the Berko teenager to take the penalty, but his low shot in the corner was not hard enough to prevent Butler saving. He was soon replaced in goal by Dave Smalley, a proper substitute goalkeeper as the FA allow 7 subs to be named in this competition.

In the 31st minute it looked as if Berko might go on to do some giant killing when they got a man advantage.  Steve Sutherland brought down Calcutt just outside the penalty box, and being the last man, got a red card.However, teh second half turned out to be different.
In the 52nd minute a great delivery from Ty Smith found Jay Lovett at the far post who headed across goal for substitute James Tyrrell to tap in. Craig Brown delivered a pin point cross for Jonte Smith to volley home from 8 yards to complete a two goal in two minutes burst that knocked the stuffing out of Berko. Mick Vipond tried three substitutes but with the bit between their teeth the Police took control in midfield.
In the 75th minute, Jonte Smith beat Berkhamsted’s captain Dale Sears on the left byline and was about to cross when Sears brought him down for a penalty. Jonte stepped up himself and sent Tasker the wrong way to win the game for the Met.
Berko: Tasker, Power(Dimitrov), Rodrigoe, Culaj, Sears, Frederick, Jowle(Toomey), Griggs, Calcutt, Pritchard, Chamberlain(Sedgley), Subs. Not used Gavin, Creasy, & Boad.

Berko return to league action with a home game with Stotfold on Tuesday 25th and go to Holmer Green on Saturday 29th.

On Saturday Berko’s reserve side went down 3-0 in the first leg of the Suburban League Cup to Uxbridge. They will entertain Tring Athletic on Saturday.

Berko’s under 18’s go to Tring Athletic on Wednesday evening.



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