Berko make FA Vase exit in the Hinckley fog

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Berko were dumped out of the Buildbase FA Vase 5-0 by an excellent Hinckley side in the fog on Saturday.

The game was decided in the first 10 minutes when the home side raced into a three goal lead.

The home crowd of over 300 were baying for a penalty in the first minute when James Williams went down in a clash of legs with Tom Carter, that the referee ruled to be accidental. In their next attack Jim Baldry picked up a yellow card for a foul by the D of the penalty area. Up stepped home skipper Ryan Seal to expertly curl the free kick into the top corner of the net to open the scoring.

Lee Thomas overlapped on the left wing and centred for Luke Richards to sweep the ball home and double their lead. Richards went round Carl Tasker to net the third after Seal got past a challenge from Baldry.

It was a whirlwind start from the successor club to the Hinckley side that used to play Conference football. They were faster in thought and deed and so Berko were chasing shadows at this stage of the game.

Hinckley had a couple more good chances in the first half but twice slipped the ball the wrong side of the post, when through with just Tasker to beat. Jamal Clarke came forward and fired over the bar. Tasker also tipped a shot over the bar as the interval approached.

Of Berko’s first half forward sorties Ashton Campbell could get past his man and two home defenders were booked for bringing him down in separate attacks. Ashley Lewis got in a few shots, but they eluded the target and Haydn Whitcomb caught a few crosses well.

There was a fourth goal at the start of the second half, when many were still in the clubhouse. Tasker saved from Seal, but Javia Roberts got to the loose ball and netted at the back post. By moving five into midfield Berko got more of the ball in the second half but rarely threatened the home goal. Tom Carter came forward well a few times and substitutes Bradley O’Donovan and Ikem Odeh both put shots over the bar.

A defensive mix up allowed Seal to get a fifth goal that put Hinckley into the last 16.Last season Berko went out in the last 16 to Morpeth, the eventual winners and the excellent travelling fans were wondering whether Hinckley might also make a Wembley appearance in this competition.

Berko team: Tasker, Smaldone , Carter, Stevens(O’Donovan), , Baldry , Weeks, Campbell(Odeh), Hawes, Lewis, Campana (Wilson-McLoughlin), Jones. Sub. Not used Canham & Mead.

On Saturday Berko are at home to Hadley in the Premier division. Matt Bateman can return after being cup-tied as can Max Farrelly who has completed his suspension but Steve Hawes is suspended. It is hoped that Adam Mead will also be fit to return after a hamstring problem. Ex Spurs star Micky Hazard is manager of Hadley, who are having a poor season in the league.

On Wednesday. January 18 Berko go to Oxhey Jets in the semi-final of the Herts Charity Shield kick off 7.30pm.