Cup success keeps a fine season going for Berkhamsted

The table-topping Comrades are now through to the last eight of the Southern League Challenge Cup

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:38 am
The Berkhamsted players are enjoying a fine campaign so far

Berkhamsted’s fine season continued as they made it through to the quarter-finals of the Southern League Challenge Cup with a 2-1 success at Harlow on Tuesday night.

Berko were missing a number of players with Lucas Kirkpatrick suspended while three more injuries were sustained on the night with Cameron Groom, Charlie Briggs and James Verney all being forced off.

The Comrades opened the scoring in the second half when Phil Draycott’s cross was finished off by a Jake Tabor voley.

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And, soon after, it was 2-0 when another Draycott cross was only half cleared and substitute Cheyne Grant rifled a low shot into the corner of the net.

The hosts pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Alex Read but Berko saw it out to move into the last eight.

The five other to have made it into the draw so far are Banbury United, Royston Town, Walton Casuals, Rushall Olympic and Paulton Rovers.

Swindon Supermarine play Wantage Town next week and the tie between Weston Super Mare and Taunton Town remains outstanding.

The midweek success came after Berkhamsted retained their top of the table status in the Southern League Division One Central after a 3-0 win at Barton Rovers last weekend.

It was yet another clean sheet for the Comrades and they now have the best defensive record in the top 19 divisions of English football having conceded just five league goals so far this season.

Verney and Lewis Toomey both went close for Berko before they opened the scoring from a corner which was headed on by Robbie Goodman to the far post where Toomey easily netted.

Barton looked dangerous on the odd occasion they got the ball forward and Xavi Comas Leon was relieved to see a shot from outside the box go just over the bar.

He was later even more relieved when a shot struck the inside of his right-hand post and trickle back across the goal to safety.

But Berko went further ahead in the second period.

Recently-signed winger Grant cut in from the left wing, dribbled past a couple of defenders to get into the penalty box and hit a low shot past the goalkeeper’s left hand into the corner of the net to make it 2-0.

And the third arrived following a good passing move through midfield which ended with a perfect cross being headed home by Elliot Bailey.

Berko were hoping to reach the quarter-finals of the Southern League Challenge Cup last night (Tuesday) when they headed to Harlow Town.

They are back in league action on Saturday when they entertain Colney Heath and they also have a home local derby with Hemel Hempstead Town to look forward to next Tuesday night as the two sides meet in the Herts Senior Cup.

Meanwhile, at Broadwater last Saturday, a single goal was enough for Raiders to take the three points off the Comrades with a volley from Kieran Barnard-White. The Comrades travel to Codicote in the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two this weekend.

The under-16 cup tie was a victim of the weather at Billericay while The under-15s drew 2-2 at home to Welwyn Garden City on Sunday in the Eastern Junior Alliance with Reece Thomas and Ethan Viana getting the goals for the Comrades. The under-15s travel to Cockfosters this Sunday.

The under-18s moved up to fifth in the league by completing a double over Dunstable Town on Thursday with a 3-2 home win.

Godlove Oppong hit the winner with his second goal of the game while Harley Latchford was also on the mark for the young Comrades who head to Leverstock Green tomorrow night.