Comrades keep their cool to end the season with trophy win
Berkhamsted finished the season in style as they kept their cool to beat Colney Heath 5-3 on penalties in the final of the Dudley Latham Memorial Cup on Monday.
Last season the Comrades lost the final on a penalty shoot-out to Ampthill Town, but this time they converted all of their spot-kicks to bring some silverware back to Broadwater – the first time a senior league cup has been won by the club.
The first half was a dour affair with both sides having to reshuffle their sides in the early stages due to injuries.
Heath’s Levi Gunn was first to get injured on the day, followed by Berko’s Adiel Mannion who was replaced by Che To, while Josh Chamberlain limped off and was replaced by Jay Caines.
It was teenager Caines who made the breakthrough late in the first half, when he cut in from the left and beat a couple of defenders, before firing a shot that bounced up and deceived Tom Blackman in the Heath goal to open the scoring.
Berko had their best spell of the match early in the second half and James Baldry headed a good chance over, before Ed Canham beat Blackman with a header from a Jowle corner but it was blocked on the line.
At the other end, Matt Standen’s fine low shot was kept out, while Jowle had a penalty appeal turned down.
Berko Began to drop deeper in an attempt to defend their lead, however they were undone 10 minutes from time by a free-kick from Danny Payne that took a wicked deflection off a defender to give Comrades keeper Carl Tasker no chance.
The best footballing move of the match came in extra-time when Lewis Rodrigoe and sub Alex Foster combined to release Jowle, and his pull-back was met by Caines, whose shot hit the woodwork.
The Comrades went first in the penalty shoot-out and the first seven kicks were all scored, with Jowle, Caines, To and Baldry netting for Berko.
However, Colney Heath’s player-manager Glenn Draper put his penalty wide, which meant if Courtney Massay could keep up the 100 per cent record for Berko, the cup was theirs. His kick duly went in the corner of the net to start the celebrations.
Berko - 1 Tasker, 2 Massay, 3 Rodrigoe, 4 Baldry, 5 Canham, 6 Hawes (Foster), 7 Jowle, 8 Farrelly, 9 Christie, 10 Mannion (To), 11Chamberlain (Caines). Subs not used - Osborne and Carbery.
Elsewhere, Binfield pipped Berko to the Suburban North title with a 5-1 win over North Greenford United on Saturday, leaving the Comrades as runners-up.
The club’s presentation night is on Friday, May 15 in the clubhouse with a disco and meal included in the £10 admission.