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Hillingdon v Comrades

Sat 1st Oct 2011 MSSML Premier


Berko’s depleted squad went down on Saturday in the searing heat to make it four defeats on the trot. Manager Mick Vipond was back from holiday and had to cope with an injury list made worse in his absence in the 3-0 midweek defeat by Aylesbury United when Simon Carmichael and Tyler Hatherly got hurt and several more squad players were unavailable on Saturday. The Comrades were so short in midfield that even coach Steve Boad was called up for a first start of the season.

The recalled Adam Mead hit the post for Berko from a right wing cross by Tony Burnett. Berko took the lead when Matt Wardle won a free kick which Russell Clark placed on the head of skipper for the day, Jim Carmichael, who beat keeper Ben Harris to the ball and scored. However, it was very short lived, as within a minute Paul Haynes equalised. Ed Farmer had pulled off a fine save to keep the ball out, but he could not get enough hand on the ball to tip it over the bar and Haynes capitalised with a header after he got to the loose ball first.

Early in the second half the entire defence had stopped, waiting in vain for a handball decision and the home man of the match Adam Willis broke free and coolly lobbed home over the out coming Famer to put Borough in front. Jack Buckle made it 3-1 when he tapped in a chance that was laid on a plate by the impressive  Chris Baah who had come forward and beaten three men. Berko tried fresh legs bringing on three men promoted from the reserve team but hard as Wardle and Burnett tried they could not get serious shots on target to trouble the home keeper.

Comrades: Farmer, Gavin, Chamberlain, J.Carmichael, Rodrigoe, Clark, Mead(Balletta), Boad(Gerrard),   Wardle, Burnett, Harewood Williams(Hewitt ) . Subs not used: Hawes.


Harpenden Game On

Today’s county cup tie is definitely on, but there may be a delayed kick-off due to an accident on the M25.

Comrades Merchandise Sales Rush!

Broadwater saw its first batch of Comrades scarves delivered on Saturday, and they were flying out of the box to the faithful for the visit of Sandridge Rovers.

Many thanks to everyone who has supported the Club so far by buying an enamel badge or scarf.

For anyone wanting to buy up any of the few remaining scarves or enamel badges, an ideal last-minute Christmas present, please visit the clubhouse at next Saturday’s Herts Intermediate Cup tie with Hadley at Broadwater, priced at £6 and £3 respectively.

Comrades bronx-style hats are due very soon, and if you have any ideas or suggestions regarding other items of club merchandise you are interested in, please get in touch.

Happy Birthday Jim!

Everyone at the Club would like to wish Jim Carmichael a very happy 29th birthday!

Croxley Guild 0-2 Comrades

On Saturday Berkhamsted made a perfect start to the pre-season friendly campaign with Jamie Gavin coming forward from right back to open the scoring with a fierce right foot shot from outside the penalty area in just the 2nd minute. James Armstrong netted the other goal midway through the first half, finishing with a neat shot. In between those goals, new keeper Eddie Farmer from Aston Clinton pulled off a great save when the home team beat the offside trap.

In the second half, another new signing David Clark took over between the sticks but did not have much to do, as last season’s back four defended comfortably, with Guild’s only real chance being blasted over the bar. The new midfield signings acquitted themselves well with Mark Welling from Leverstock Green shining in the first half and Paolo Aquila from Pitstone & Ivinghoe looking good after the interval with Steve Hawes driving the team on.

The Comrades have a fearsome strike force and the only surprise was that they did not turn possession into more goals in the second half. Adam Mead came closest by rattling the bar with a 30 yard drive. Tony Burnett was creating chances with his strength and skill on the ball. Lawrence Bunker missed an open goal as he blasted one cross over the bar and next time, he found the target, only to be denied by a brilliant save. He also had a good shout for a penalty turned down. Speedy Aaron Usmani who has joined from Aston Clinton will no doubt prove a handful for defenders when he settles in.

It was a very useful work out for Mick Vipond’s team who now face four home friendlies as they hone their skills for the long league season. On Thursday 29th they are at home to Premier division Hadley k.o.7:45pm and follow up by playing Baldock Town/Letchworth at Broadwater on Saturday 31 st k.o.3pm and finish their friendlies against Premier division Kentish Town k.o.7:45pm on Tuesday 3rd August.

Grant Hastie

Comrades win title at first attempt

Kent Athletic 1-4 Berkhamsted

by Grant Hastie

Berkhamsted’s 11th consecutive league win landed them the Division Two title in style in Luton on Saturday to set the champagne corks popping.

Mick Vipond was able to name an unchanged side after winning 3-0 at their closest challengers Aston Clinton in midweek. Any title nerves were soon settled as Lawrence Bunker put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute when his low shot burst through the net after a neat run into the penalty area from Mitchell Hamilton.

Paul Edwards was kept very busy making saves in the home goal throughout the first half. His saves included a Bunker header after a Lee Groves cross was nodded back across goal by Simon Carmichael. However, he had no chance when Bunker headed home at the back post from an inch perfect inviting cross by James Armstrong in the 33rd minute.

Berko thought they were going into the interval 3-0 up for a while, as Bunker beat two men in the area and shot on target past Edwards and with the ball already going for goal Armstrong caught it up to make sure. The referee awarded the goal initially and there was no offside flag, but after protests from the home side the referee consulted his assistant and chalked off the goal, leaving Armstrong wishing he had left the ball to go in unaided.

Criag Hawkes put in a header that Graeme Milner saved. Armstrong shot past the post from a Luke Bartlett cross and Edwards conceded a corner from a Bunker header on the end of an Ed Gerrard cross. Simon Carmichael headed a Hamilton cross wide. However, Pat O’Neill made a game of it when he came up from centre half to head a cross into the net to make it 2-1.

That prompted the Comrades to go off and attack again. Tony Burnett headed over from a Hamilton cross and Armstrong rounded the keeper to win a corner. Bunker headed wide from a Hamilton free kick. Steve Hawes settled the points with a tremendous 25 yard drive that beat Edwards all ends up to make it 3-1 after Hamilton squared the ball into his path.

Berko made a triple substitution so more players could join in the title celebrations. They were rewarded with a late penalty after Bunker brought the ball down well and O’Neill tripped him. It was hat trick time for Bunker who took the kick himself. He has got onto the scoresheet in every game that he has played since signing for the Comrades.

Understandably it took a while for Mick Vipond to shape the team of a new club that only started last summer but Berkhamsted have got stronger, adding players as the season progressed and have not lost a league match since August and in recent weeks have convincingly beaten all their title rivals to earn promotion. Next season they will be in division 1 playing the likes of Welwyn Garden City, and have local derbies to look forward to with Amersham Town and Kings Langley.

Team: Milner; Groves (Hattan), Bartlett (Rodrigoe), J Carmichael, S Carmichael, Hamilton, Hawes (Beamish), Gerrard, Armstrong, Bunker, Burnett. Subs not used: Boad and Mead.

Goals from Darren Lewis and Sukure Ebi at Broadwater gave Berko’s reserve side a winning end to the season although Sun Postal Sports pulled one back late on to make the final score 2-1. The Comrades reserve side under Danny Johnson have ended the season strongly with 7 wins in their last 8 games.

On Saturday Berko wind up their season with a home league game against Caddington with a 3pm kick off at Broadwater. They are hoping for a big crowd to see the title presented and to thank all those who have worked so hard, to not just restore senior football to the town but also earning promotion in it first season.

Pitstone and Ivinghoe 1 – 2 Berkhamsted

by Grant Hastie

For the fourth time this season Berko came out narrowly on top against Pitstone to maintain their lead at the top of the division.

On Tuesday night they had to come from behind as Tom Elliott flighted a superb free kick past Graeme Milner into the top corner to give the home team the lead in the 12th minute after Luke Bartlett had fouled.

At the other end Lewis Rodrigoe fired a free kick from a similar position just over the bar after Mitch Hamilton was fouled. Ed Gerard headed wide from a cross by Rodrigoe as Berko battled to get even.

In the 28th minute Lawrence Bunker scored against his old club to level matters with the 100th league goal of the season for the Comrades when he headed home a cross by James Armstrong. Gerard did well to keep the ball in at the corner flag and he placed the ball back to Lee Groves whose cross found Armstrong and the top scorer reacted quickly when Joe Cox saved his first shot and then tapped home the rebound to put Berko in front at the interval.

Tony Burnett came on for Steve Hawes in the second half which proved to be goalless. Armstrong came closest- hitting the post in the gathering gloom. It was the 8th consecutive league win for Berkhamsted and the three points were vital as they guarantee a top three finish. The chasing pack all won on Tuesday night to keep the pressure up.

Team: Milner; Groves, Bartlett, J Carmichael, S Carmichael, Hamilton, Gerrard, Hawes (Burnett), Armstrong, Bunker, Rodrigoe. Subs not used: Mead, Beamish, Mortimer and Hattan.

On Saturday Berkhamted go to Risborough Rangers and then on Tuesday 20th go to 2nd placed Aston Clinton k.o. 6:30 p.m. The latter match will have a vital bearing on the destination of the title. Aston Clinton are currently 7 points adrift of Berko but they do still have two games in hand, so the meeting of the top two is critical. After that match Berko will have just two games left this season. Berko’s midfield options are depleted with Colin Wilson and Jamie Gavin ruled out for the season with injury.

Berko’s reserve side are at Risborough Rangers on Thursday 15th and at home to Bletchley Town reserves on Saturday 17th April in their penultimate game of the season.