Berko notched their third FA Carlsberg Vase win of the season to put them in Monday’s draw for the last 128 of this national competition, by comfortably beating a physical Baldock side from the division below on Saturday, in front of Berko’s biggest away crowd of the season at Hitchin.

The pattern for the game was set early on with Connor Calcutt having an early goal disallowed for offside-a feat he was to repeat later in the half. Adiel Mannion dribbled round three men but went down with a crack and was stretchered off to hospital with a broken ankle. Bekim Culaj came on to replace him in an action packed opening 10 minutes.

Versatile Jamie Gavin is scoring more often this season and he was in centre midfield for the suspended Steve Hawes and popped up to give Berko their opening two goals. His first was a very clean strike from 20 yards into the top corner to give home keeper Nicky Stilwell no chance after the home defence failed to clear their lines. His second was another shot after Culaj picked him out with a good cross from the left wing.

Baldock threatened rarely in the first half with Lee Harman narrowly missing the target when Ed Canham conceded a free kick just outside the penalty arc. Berko went three goals up when a Josh Chamberlain cross was headed on by Calcutt and Frankie Jowle swept the ball home for his overdue first goal of the season. Slack marking enabled Harman to pull one back from close range in injury time, just before the interval.
It gave Baldock heart and they came out for the second half on the attack. However, the Berko defence held firm and the midfield soon restored the lion’s share of the possession and only careless finishing prevented it turning into a rout. James Towell came on for Josh Chamberlain, who was another ankle victim. The referee finally had enough of Baldock’s physical game and a second yellow card reduced them to 10 men. James Bent also came off the bench and finished clinically to make it 4-1 with quarter of an hour remaining by polishing a off a fine move down the left involving Towell, Culaj and Calcutt.

Berko: Tasker; Griggs, Chamberlain (Towell), Rodrigoe, Canham, Gavin, Jowle, Sears,Calcutt, Mannion(Culaj) ,Morrissey (Bent). Substitute not used Frederick.

Berko’s reserve side went out of the Herts Intermediate Cup on Saturday. They were 1-0 down to Hadley reserves at half time but ended up losing 5-0.

Berko’s under 18 side had a George Carberry goal from a first half free kick to thank for an excellent 1-0 win at Leverstock Green in the Olympian division. Quite an achievement, as they played all but the first few minutes of the game with 10 men after Denzil Addo was sent off for a last man professional foul.

On Tuesday night Berko should have Steve Hawes back after suspension for the local derby at home to Leverstock Green. After all the cup excitement it is the first of three important Premier division league games in 8 days for the Comrades. On Saturday Berko go to Hoddesdon Town and on Tuesday 29th are at home to Hatfield Town. Berko have an incredible 6 games in hand on the league leaders Ampthill Town, but need to win them all to catch the Bedfordshire side up.


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