Berko go out of one cup but hope to progress in the Vase on Saturday

AMPTHILL TOWN 2 BERKHAMSTED 1

Berko got knocked out of the Premier division Cup  on Tuesday night at Ampthill. Manager Mick Vipond had to make changes with Danny Power unavailable, Josh Chamberlain suspended and strikers Lawrence Bunker and Myles Stephenson not risked after recent injuries.

The reshaped side conceded an early goal when Tyrone Taylor beat his man to a cross and headed the ball with enough power that it was already past keeper Carl Tasker as he raised a despairing arm. Bekim Culaj equalised when he spotted a gap in the defensive wall and struck a 20 yard free kick into the net on the half hour mark.

Berko were lifted by the goal and became less careless about giving the ball away and generally had a better second half. They did have one lucky escape when a shot by Lea Coulter struck the foot of the post. Craig Preston came on when Jamie Gavin withdrew with a hamstring injury. The winning goal came when Tasker saved a shot and full back Paul Ericson was not picked up and rammed home the loose ball.

Ross MIller came forward and spurned there good chances for Berko. Harry Sedgley and Connor Toomey came on as Mick Vipond went for the equaliser but the Comrades were unable to force extra time. Jamie Buick in the home goal produced the save of the night to keep out a shot by Dan Griggs and see his side into the quarter finals.

Tasker;  Gavin (Preston),  Rodrigoe, Frederick,  Sears,Culaj, Jowle, Griggs, Pritchard. Ward(Sedgley) Miller. Subs. Not used Thompson and Stephenson.

On Saturday Berko entertain Southend Manor in the FA Carlsberg Vase. Mick Vipond hopes injured forwards Lawrence Bunker and  Myles Stephenson will be fit to return and Danny Power should be available. However, he has to do without injured Jamie Gavin and the suspended Josh Chamberlain who will also miss the following Tuesday night game. Currently that is a league trip to Harefield United but if there is a draw after extra time in the FA Vase the replay would be at Southend that night.

Berko will face Chipperfield Corinthians on a date to be decided in the St Marys Cup semi final after Corinthians knocked out Leverstock Green in midweek.

ST MARGARETSBURY 2 BERKHAMSTED 0

These two sides were next to each other in the league table and a tight game was expected but the homes sides took the points in the end. Whilst Berko had good chances to win the game in the first half it was turned on its head after the interval when Dan Griggs went up with the keeper challenging for the ball and was sent off for the second time this season, with the referee deeming it violent conduct. Reduced to 10 men they came under pressure from the home side. St Margaretsbury scored from one set piece by Sam Ruff and made the extra man tell with another break away goal from Lee Roberts.

The lack of discipline proved expensive as the Comrades picked up a £150 fine as they also received five yellow cards for defenders Lewis Rodrigoe and Ross Miller plus midfielders Harry Sedgley and Dale Sears and striker Lawrence Bunker. Three of them have enough cards to be looking at suspensions.

Tasker;  Power, Rodrigoe, Cluaj, Preston, Miller, Jowle(Frederick), Griggs, Bunker, Sears, Sedgley(Chamberlain). Subs. Not used Gavin, Ward and Pritchard .

By contrast Berko’s reserves have had a good week picking up 7 league points from three games in 8 days. In midweek they drew 2-2 at Leighton Town and followed it up with a 4-1 win at home to Dunstable Town in the Suburban League North on Saturday. All the goals came in the first half with Luke Wartnaby-Lamb helping himself to an early hat trick and Connor Toomey was also on the mark.

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