Berkhamsted on the spot with three successful penalty shoot-outs

The in-form Comrades made progress in the Herts Senior Cup, FA Trophy and Southern League Challenge Cup

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 12:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 12:06 pm
It's been another good week for the Berkhamsted players. Picture courtesy of Berkhamsted FC

Berkhamsted will take on Step 3 opposition in the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Berko earned their spot in Monday’s draw after they eventually overcame Isthmian League side Northwood in a penalty shoot-out at the weekend.

And they will now travel to Isthmian League Premier Division side Cheshunt on Saturday, November 13.

The last time the sides met was when Berko were victorious in the semi-finals of the Herts Charity Cup but Covid-19 meant the final with Hemel Hempstead Town never got played.

With both full-backs and Adam Watkins unavailable, Elliot Bailey cup-tied and Lewis Toomey pulling up in the warm up, Chris Devane had to rejig his line up.

Jake Tabor got his second start of the season up front and Max Farrelly was back after injury to resume the skipper’s duties.

The Comrades started well but it was the home side that took the lead in the 16th minute when skipper Adam Cash blasted a 25-yard shot into the top corner.

Berko’s response was swift as they drew level when a corner from Phil Draycott was firmly headed home by James Verney at the near post.

However, Northwood regained the lead as Berko conceded two goals in one match for the first time this season when Ismael Ehui swept home a cross from the right.

But they battled back in the second period and they made it 2-2 when Lucas Kirkpatrick scored from the penalty spot after Varney had been fouled in the area.

Neither side could find a winner so it went straight to a shoot-out with home goalkeeper Dan Purdue saving the first penalty from Kirkpatrick.

The two sides then scored their next four each with Verney, Alie Bangura, Charlie Briggs and Ryan Kinnane converting for Berko to make it 4-4.

Northwood had one penalty left, however, but Aaron Petch missed the chance to win it as Xavi Comas Leon saved.

Skipper Farrelly put Berko ahead for the first time in the match but Ryan Avery immediately made it 5-5.

Connor Toomey held his nerve to put Berko 6-5 up and then Xavi made another save to keep out Arnold Linturn’s spot kick to win it.

Having beaten Leverstock Green 4-2 in a shoot-out after a goalless draw in the Herts Senior Cup last week, which set up a home tie with Hemel Hempstead Town, Berko made it three shoot-out successes in a row on Tuesday evening.

They were up against Chesham United in the Southern League Challenge Cup with neither team able to make a breakthrough during the 90 minutes.

And, again, it was Xavi who was the hero of the night during the spot-kicks.

United went first and Xavi saved before Kirkpatrick put Berko ahead and then United hit the post with their second effort.

Bailey calmly made it 2-0 to the Comrades before United had the unusual sight of their goalkeeper Sam Beasant taking the next kick and he duly showed the outfield players how to net to make it 2-1.

Bangura then made it 3-1 to Berko, keeping his 100 per cent record of scoring in all three of the week’s shoot-outs.

Fittingly, Xavi saved the fourth Chesham penalty - his sixth spot kick save of the week - to ensure the Comrades won it 3-1.

Top of the table Berko are back in Southern League Division One Central action on Saturday when they host Ware at Broadwater.

On Sunday, Berko’s under-15s won 5-0 at Hadley to stay at the top of the table.

Tio netted twice and there were further goals from Fraser Patterson, Josh Smith and Charlie Christie.

This weekend, they are at home to Hoddesdon Town in the Herts U15 Cup while the under-16s travel to Edgware Town.

Berko’s under-18s have had a fortnight with no game but entertain Kings Langley tonight (Wednesday) and go to Dunstable Town next Thursday (November 11).