Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt praised the ‘heart and desire’ shown by his team as they fought back from behind to beat Hanworth Villa 3-2 in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.
The Comrades found themselves behind as Ross Cheetham struck a 20th minute opener for Villa, but goals from Jude Eboji, Aaron Nash-Barker and Jim Baldry turned the game on its head, before Cheetham netted again.
As you’d expect there may have been a few hairy moments towards the end but I thought we controlled the game out perfectly.Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt
Garratt was understandably delighted with the result, saying: “The FA Cup game against Hanworth Villa was hugely important to both the players and the club for obvious reasons.
“It’s a little bit of the unknown when playing a team from another league and, although we did our homework as we always do, you never quite know what’s in store for you.”
Despite facing unfamiliar foes, Garratt felt his side adapted quickly to deal with the threat posed by the Hanworth side.
“They were quite easily the most direct team we’ve played so far this season and played with four up-front, overloading one side for most of the game,” said the Berko boss.
“Fortunately the side they chose to overload was occupied by Lewis Rodrigoe, and if there’s one player you’d want in that position it’s him.
“The game was extremely competitive but I believe played in the right spirit – if not on the line at points – but once we settled and got into our rhythm the performance was excellent.
“We showed heart and desire to win the game and again came from behind but Jim Baldry’s towering header at the Canal End – in front of the most vocal and merry set of away fans you’re ever likely to see – typified us that day.
“As you’d expect there may have been a few hairy moments towards the end but I thought we controlled the game out perfectly.”
Next up for Berko is an SSML Premier Division clash with Cockfosters, and Garratt is looking for his side to pick up where they left off on Saturday.
He continued: “We’re starting to get a few players back from injury and a few others, like Aaron Nash-Barker, who have had to be patient in getting their chance are starting to impose themselves on games which is very encouraging to see.
“We’ve got a great spirit back in the camp and there’s more balance in the side now but there’s a long, long way to go before any season will be defined so the players know they need to keep fit, look after themselves and keep practicing what we coach them.
“We’ve got a very tough couple of games coming up and a huge challenge tonight going away to Cockfosters who look like the real deal this year. But we have to be confident in our own ability to go there and get what would be a fantastic result.”