Hoddesdon through to semi final


Berko bowed out of the Herts, Charity Shield at the quarter final stage on Tuesday night at frosty Hoddesdon Town. Manager Mick Vipond was able to welcome back after suspension Lewis Rodrigoe, Ross Miller and Dale Sears which neatly filled the vacancies caused by hamstring injuries to Jamie Gavin and Frankie Jowle and the unavailability of Danny Power. The other change was at the ever changing centre half slot where the experienced Steve Nott-Macaire played after joining from Holmer Green.

The rearranged side allowed ex Broadwater favourite Tyler Hatherley too much room on the left wing in the 10th minute and he scuttled away from the defence and crossed for skipper Steve Simmonds to shoot the division `1 side a goal ahead. Berko tried to hit back with Josh Chamberlain giving another ex Comrade Mark Teasdale an uncomfortable  time on the left wing and the pace of Myles Stepehnson and the aerial threat of Lewis Pritchard combined to offer hope. However, Jorden Gibson was in good form in the home goal when Berko were on target, denying first half shots from Stephenson and Pritchard. Skipper Craig Preston came up and headed a free kick from Chamberlain back across goal but just the wrong side of the post. Stephenson also headed wide and Glenn Thompson struck a 25 yard free kick over the bar.

Both sides played neat passing football on a frosty surface but it was Berko who dominated the second half. Chamberlain beat three men but again Gibson saved. Pritchard shot wide after he robbed a dithering defender as the pressure mounted.  Against the run of play Robbie Carroll converted a cross to double the Town lead in the 70th minute. Berko immediately sent on youth team player Yusef Seodi for his first team debut and recent signing Kieron Wilson. Ross Miller came forward and his fierce drive beat Gibson but thundered against the cross bar and to safety.

Stepehnson got on the end of a Chamberlain cross to net a late goal and set up an exciting finish. However, Town held firm to notch their first win in three meetings between the sides this season.

Tasker;   Culaj, Rodrigoe, Preston, Nott-Macaire, Miller, Sears, Thompson ,Pritchard(Wilson) , Stephenson,Chamberlain., Subs. Not used Ward and Sedgley .

On Saturday Berko go to Hillingdon Borough in the Spartan South Midlands Premier division and manager Mick Vipond will be hoping for better weather and that the injury list shortens. Jordon Frederick could be back after suspension to add to the manager’s options. On Tuesday night Berko go to Biggleswade United for another league game.

Berko’s reserves entertain Leverstock Green on Saturday in the Suburban League North.



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