Berko limp out of FA Cup at first hurdle

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

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Berko went out of the Emirates FA Cup with a limp performance in the heat at Cogenhoe on Saturday.

Last season Northampton Spencer were one of Berko’s FA Vase victims, and most of their players re-appeared against them for Cogenhoe on Saturday as Spencer folded in the summer.

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Berkhamsted welcomed back goalkeeper Carl Tasker and striker Alex Campana for the Extra Preliminary Round tie but both had quiet days. It was a hot day and the referee allowed several drinks breaks.

Kieran Fitzgerald smashed a shot against the bar for the home side and Ryan Lovell put the rebound wide as the hosts had the first real chance. Connor Deadman had a few shots for Berko but chances were rare at either end throughout the match.

Max Farrelly had to go to hospital for 16 stitches with a cut beneath his eye, as he went up with a United player for a high ball, which Danny Ryan came forward and headed the ball and caught his teammate with a sickening clash of heads. Lewis Rodrigoe came on to take Berko back up to 11 men with half an hour gone.

The only goal of the game arrived just before half time as United forced a series of corners. Matt Long was first to react to a ball that was not cleared and put the United Counties League side ahead.

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Early in the second half Ant O’Connor made a good save to keep out a shot from Tom Carter. Dan Jones came on for his Berko debut as they tried hard to get back in the game in the last quarter, even going to just three men at the back.

Scott Bonner came forward and headed over the bar and Danny Ryan also ventured upfield and got on the end of a Campana cross at the back post, but put it wide.

Tasker made the only meaningful save of the day when he tipped a shot onto the cross bar as United counter attacked in the closing stages.

Berko: 1 Tasker, 2 Bonner, 3 Weeks ( 15 Odeh 75min), 4 Ryan, 5 Canham, 6 Farrelly (17 Rodrigoe 35min) 7 Deadman, 8 Hawes, 9 Ferrari (18 Jones 70min) 10 Campana, 11 Carter.

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Cogenhoe v Berkhamsted. Picture: Ray Canham

Unused subs 12 Mead, 14 Baldry 16 Carbery G/K A. Ladyman-

Berko’s reserve side went down 4-2 at home to Tring Athletic in a friendly. Ross Treviliion was on the scoresheet for the Comrades. On Saturday they begin their Suburban League programme at home to Bracknell Town Reserves.

The first team open their league season with a couple of away games, visiting London Colney on Tuesday and Holmer Green on Saturday.