Comrades crash out as Barton Rovers prove too strong in the FA Cup

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Berkhamsted battled well but Barton Rovers’ superior finishing saw them through to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup.

With Lewis Rodrigoe injured in the midweek draw with Holmer Green, Dan Weeks came in at left-back and Frankie Jowle was also recalled to the Berko starting line-up.

Berko made a great start with a goal in the opening few minutes. Kyle Forster in the Rovers goal flapped at a Josh Chamberlain corner and the ball came back to Jude Eboji who netted with a low shot to score for the fifth game running.

It looked like Aaron Nash-Barker was also going to net for the fifth game running but, after he rounded Forster, a defender was able to block his shot on the line.

The Berko lead lasted less than five minutes, however, as Elliot Bailey was the man left over and he netted from the left against a Comrades side that he briefly played for last season.

Things got worse for Berko midway through the first half as Alex Condon came up for a corner and headed Rovers into a 2-1 lead.

A last ditch tackle stopped Josh Chamberlain from scoring for Berko after he had beaten several men, while both sides thought they should have had penalties in the first half with a fairly blatant push on James Baldry going unpunished in the bottom goalmouth.

In the second half a fine ball from Chamberlain released Eboji and he rounded the keeper but once again a defender managed to intercept the shot.

Barton got their third goal when Jason Blackett rose to head in a cross from overlapping left-back Lucas Perry.

Berko did not give up and Eboji beat the keeper with a long bending shot that flew just the wrong side of the post.

At the other end an Eliot shot was pushed round the post by Cark Tasker. Max Farrelly, Jay Caines and Nick Jackson all came on for Berko, who were able to apply some pressure. Caines twice went close but Forster saved the best chance.

Rovers held on to win as would be expected from a side one division higher than Berko. Their reward is a shot trip to Dunstable Town, who are one division higher in the Southern League.

Berko: Tasker; Edwards, Weeks, Baldry, Canham (Farrelly), Hawes, Jowle (Jackson), Mitchell, Chamberlain, Eboji, Nash-Barker(Caines). Subs not used: Carbery & Harnaman.

On Tuesday Berko begin the defence of their Premier Division Cup when they go to Colney Heath – the side they conquered in last season’s final after a penalty shootout.

Hopefully the injury list which currently has five men ruled out will ease up soon.

On Saturday Berko entertain United Counties League side Woodford United in the FA Vase in a game sponsored by C&B Insurance. Kick-off at Broadwater is 3pm. Josh Chamberlain misses that one through suspension.

Meanwhile, Berko’s reserve side went down 4-0 at Northwood on Saturday where Jermaine Heron scored a hat-trick and Alex de la Selle got the other goal.

This Saturday they go to Molesey in the Suburban Cup for a first leg match.