Comrades march on to the cup final after seeing off Chesham Reserves
A trio of second half goals put Berkhamsted through to the Challenge Trophy final as they beat Chesham United Reserves 3-0 at the Meadow in the driving rain.
Chesham boss Joe Sweeney previously managed Berko’s reserve side, and he included nine former Comrades players in his 15-man squad.
They defended well for the first half, which was goalless; Tom Gowans saved from Tom Carter who was put in by Josh Chamberlain, while Dale Sears headed over the bar and Adiel Mannion headed against the bar from a Nick Jackson cross as it was largely one-way traffic.
In the second half Mannion struck the bar again, this time with a cross-cum-shot.
The deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark when Chamberlain was freed down the left channel of the penalty area. He was forced wide but went round Gowans and netted the opening goal.
Chesham were now chasing the game and they exerted some pressure in a short period, striking the crosssbar before missing an open goal and seeing another effort blocked on the line.
Howeverm Berko weathered the storm and put the result beyond doubt with a couple of late goals.
Carter was brought down on the left wing, Jackson whipped in the free-kick and though Gowans got a hand to it under pressure from substitute Jude Eboji, he could not prevent it going in.
Another substitute, George Carbery, had a shot blocked on the line, before Dan Edwards rounded the scoring off from a tight angle after he broke up the right wing to make it 3-0.
Berko will play either Welwyn Garden City or Codicote in the final on a neutral ground next month.
It is the first time they have reached the final of the Spartan South Midlands League’s top cup and means they have reached a cup final in each of the last four seasons.
Berko: Tasker, Edwards, Weeks, Baldry, Sears, Farrelly, Carter, Hawes (Mead), Chamberlain (Eboji), Mannion (Carbery), Jackson. Sub not used: Ward.
On Saturday Berko entertain Welwyn Garden City in the SSML Premier Division, kick-off 3pm.
Lewis Rodrigoe remains suspended and Alex Campana’s ankle has not recovered, but Ed Canham should be available to return, as can Jordon Frederick who has been cup-tied for the last couple of games.
There is a bottom of the table clash in the Suburban North, with Berko’s reserve side going to Biggleswade United on Saturday.