Surprising feisty encounter for Berko's final warm up
Berkhamsted put in a good performance in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday in what was a feisty game against higher-division Aylesbury.
Manager Steve Bateman gave trials to three new players who have experience of football a couple of divisions higher up the pyramid. They all did well with centre half Jon Munday giving a solid performance and strikers Sean Coughlin netting and David Pitt holding the ball up well.
Ashley Morrissey was also back after a hamstring injury and Lewis Rodrigoe returned as sweeper.
Berko were nearest to scoring when they struck the cross bar at the railway end.
Just when everyone thought the first-half would finish goalless, Jeanmal Prosper’s shot took a wicked deflection to go past Colin James and give the visitors an interval lead.
In the second half, Prosper was sent off after a flare up and there were also cards issued to skipper Max Farrelly and Morrissey in a physically keen contested for a friendly.
Coughlin equalised for Berko, cutting in from the left wing and taking his time before threading his shot past the keeper and defenders at the canal end.
However, Kieron Schmidt hit the winner with 10 minutes remaining, running into a gap beyond the defenders and shooting the ball home before the keeper had come out.
The Comrades have used around 30 players in their pre-season campaign but apart from a few holidays, hope to settle a team as cup action starts this week.
Berko were due to start their defence of the Herts Charity Shield last night (Tuesday) against Oxhey Jets at Broadwater. On Saturday they go to Stotfold in the Emirates FA Cup with the winners away a fortnight later to Royal Wootton Bassett or Crawley Green. If a replay is needed, it will be at Berkhasmted on Tuesday, August 8.
There is also Emirates FA Cup action at Berko’s Broadwater ground on Saturday when Leighton Town play Oxhey. Leighton have not quite finished their summer rebuilding work so have moved the game to Berkhamsted, due to it being mid-way between the two clubs – it should attract a good crowd.
Berko’s development side went down 4-2 at Tring Athletic with Matt Lee and M McVeigh getting the Comrades goals. Ex-Berko players Josh Hart (2) and Tom Shaw were among the scorers for Tring. It followed a narrow 4-3 defeat at Bovingdon on Thursday night.
At under-14 level Berko lost 3-1 at home to Lee Allinson’s Academy side on Wednesday.