Comrades deliver in dramatic FA Cup tie

Berkhamsted players celebrating. Picture by Jim Garnett
Berkhamsted players celebrating. Picture by Jim Garnett

Football

Uxbridge 3
Berkhamsted 4

Berkhamsted booked their place in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history with a dramatic late win at Uxbridge.

In a pulsating tie which flowed from end-to-end throughout, it looked as though a replay was on the cards until Jordon Frederick unleashed a pile driver from 30 yards to win the match with only a few minutes left to play.

Berko manager Mick Vipond said: “I’m still recovering from it to be honest with you – I haven’t experienced many games like that in all my time in football.

“It was a fantastic game and I think it encapsulated all the excitement of the FA Cup. Either team could have won it, but it was just meant to be.

“At half-time we had said to the players that we would be massively disappointed if we hadn’t taken that opportunity.

“That is no disrespect to Uxbridge, we just felt that we had enough about us to beat them.”

It was an impressive display from Berko against a team who play a division above them, and the Comrades opened the scoring in the 11th minute when a cross-come-shot from Josh Chamberlain dropped inside the far post.

It did not take long for Uxbridge to get back on level terms, however, as Nicke Kabamba equalised in the 17th minute by nodding home a cross from the overlapping Kevin Warner.

And with ten minutes to go before half-time, the hosts took the lead through Chris Moore.

Both teams continued to create chances after the break, but the next goal did not arrive until the 78th minute when veteran Dan Griggs crossed from the right and found Chamberlain who finished well at the back post to restore parity.

Uxbridge responded to the goal by bringing on Shaun Lucien and he put them 3-2 ahead after an effort by Matt Woods was saved by Berko keeper Kevin Marsh.

With time running out, Berko full-back Bekim Culaj cleared a Mark Dennison shot off the line to keep his side in the game, and the Comrades forced an equaliser with just a couple of minutes left to play as Connor Calcutt tapped home from another Griggs cross.

The action was not done there, though, and Frederick smashed home from all of 30 yards to seal Berko’s progression into the next round.

They will play Ryman League Premier Division side Metropolitan Police at Broadwater on Saturday, September 22.

“It’s nice to get a home draw and it earns a good bit of money for the club,” said Berko boss Vipond.

“We have got some tough league games coming up, though, so we will put the FA Cup to bed for a few weeks now.”