Broadwater’s biggest crowd of the season witnessed a 5 star display from Berko in the rain on Saturday as they beat Hullbridge Sports 5-2 in the FA Vase.
It was an eagerly awaited clash between two clubs that each had one win in their past Vase meetings.
Berko made a great start with two goals in the first half of the game. Dan Jones knocked a free kick to the near post and Ashley Lewis got in front of his marker to nod the opening goal in the 14th minute, after missing the last month through injury.
Another Jones free kick whistled past the post and he got in some more shots as Berko pressed. Visiting skipper Dean Wallace had a chance to equalise but he got underneath the ball so his header cleared the cross bar. Ben Perry got a yellow card for fouling Jack Stevens.
Ashton Campbell was playing well in the central forward position, taking advantage of Matt Bateman being cup tied to move in from the wing. Alex Campana set him up at the back post but he shot wide.
At the other end a free kick from Matt Brinklow was blocked on the line. Campbell had a shot deflected on to the cross bar as Berko looked for their second goal.
Jones doubled the Berko lead with three minutes left before the interval, when he broke free and shot underneath goalkeeper Jamie Merrells at the railway end and celebrated in front of the large band of Berko youngsters that give them the best vocal support in the league.
Hullbridge introduced Jimmy Cox at half time but their hopes of making a come back ended with Berko doubling their lead int eh first 10 minutes fo the second half.
Jones had to go off injured and Adam Mead, the free kick specialist came on and scored with his first touch to make it 3-0. His free kick was perfectly flighted over the defensive wall into the corner of the net. Another stunning shot from 20 yards by Cambell made it 4-0 as he took an early shot that went in just under the bar before Merrells could move.
Wallace pulled a goal back at the near post. This began a brief fight back with a second goal coming within five minutes. However, some magic from Campana set up Campbell as Berko went nap to complete the scoring. Sports still did not give up and in one attack managed to hit the near post, put the rebound onto the bar and then struck the far post before the attack was over.
Berko team: Tasker, Smaldone, Carter ,Stevens, Baldry, Rodrigoe, Lewis(Edwards), Farrelly (Dixon), Campbell, Campana, Jones (Mead). Subs not used Odeh and Wislon-McLoughlin.
Berko get back to league action with a trip to fifth placed Wembley on Saturday.
The sides were meant to meet at Berkhamsted in the Premier Division Cup on Tuesday, but with Wembley now in FA Vase action that night, it has been rearranged for Tuesday, December 20.
Dan Weeks should be able to return and Matt Bateman is also eligible to play again on Saturday. However, Steve Hawes is still suspended after losing his appeal against the sending off against Colney Heath and Dan Jones was injured in the Vase win.
Berko’s reserve side are at home to St Margraetsbury in the Herts. Intermediate Cup on Saturday at 3pm.