Bumper crowd expected as Comrades prepare for biggest match of the season

James Baldry gets the congratulations after netting the opener against Holmer Green last night. Picture (c) Ray Canham

James Baldry gets the congratulations after netting the opener against Holmer Green last night. Picture (c) Ray Canham

0
Have your say

Berkhamsted are gearing up for a huge cup clash on Saturday as they welcome Morpeth to Broadwater in the fifth round of the FA Vase.

Morpeth booked their trip to Berko on Monday night despite conceding home advantage to reigning champions North Shields, following several postponements at their own ground.

James Baldry scoring the first goal for Berkhamsted against Holmer Green. Picture (c) Ray Canham

James Baldry scoring the first goal for Berkhamsted against Holmer Green. Picture (c) Ray Canham

Morpeth have only lost two league games this season and are flying high in the EBAC Northern League Division 1, which has provided five of the last six FA Vase winners.

And Comrades coach Tommy Garratt knows that his side are in for a tough test as they look to keep their fantastic Vase run going.

“Saturday is a massive game for us and it cannot be underestimated just how important it is for us as a club,” he said.

“We’re expecting a large crowd and a wonderful day. It’s very difficult to set the team up when you’ve got very limited information about the team you’re playing but we’ve done everything we can to get as much as we can.

“To explain how big the task is in front of us, Morpeth sit top of their division and have only lost twice in the league all season.

“Their goalkeeper – from the reports we’ve had – is probably the best you’ll see at this level and it’s going to be an almighty test for us to cope with the pace and execution level they perform at.

“In the last round they knocked out the holder North Shields and that should say enough.

“But we’re determined to do ourselves proud and if the boys perform as well as they can then who knows. All I ask is that they all turn up with the right mental approach and great things just may happen.

“All supporters are advised to get into the ground early and use the town centre car parks where they can. Morpeth will be bring two coaches with them so we do expect a bumper crowd on the day; it’s going to be a fantastic experience for us all.”

Saturday’s game is a 3pm kick-off at Broadwater and looks set to be a cracking day out for the whole family.

The Comrades face a race against time to get their players fit for the match, with eight of the first team squad currently out injured – although all but two have a realistic chance of recovering in time.

Berkhamsted are expecting their biggest crowd since the club was formed in 2009, therefore home fans are urged to walk down or use the town centre car parks and get to the ground early.

Even with two turnstiles open, it is likely to be very busy, so if people have the right change it would be helpful. Admission is £6, with seniors only £3 and no charge for accompanied young children and £1 if unaccompanied.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, there will be 30 minutes of extra-time and, if needed, a replay the following Saturday.

Local businesses have rallied to the Comrades’ cause, with eight firms sponsoring the match.