Comrades deliver in extra-time to see off London Colney and reach the semi-finals

Football
Football

Berkhamsted booked their place in another semi-final as they beat London Colney for the second time in the space of just 48 hours.

After seeing off Colney in a penalty shootout on Tuesday, Mick Vipond’s side got the job done in extra-time last night to earn a 3-1 win.

Vipond was without three of the regular back four and, with three wingers and James Bent all on the injured list after Tuesday’s game, the Berko squad was tested to the limit.

There was not much to separate the sides but, in the 40th minute, Connor Calcutt nipped in when a defender was trying to shield the ball back into the penalty area to score.

Goalkeeper Charlie May thought Calcutt was offside and had some choice words for the referee, who had no hesitation in showing him a straight red card. Outfield player Spencer Clarke Mandle had to take over between the sticks, but Berko did not force him to make many saves in the second half.

In fact, the 10 men equalised when skipper Matt Newman went straight down the middle and, as the defence backed off, fired a low shot past Carl Tasker. Two tired teams kept battling and there were chances at both ends, however the game went to extra-time.

Berko finally got on top with substitute James Shaw making it 2-1 after his deflected shot wrong-footed the keeper.

Calcutt then beat his man on the left wing and squared for Adiel Mannion to tap in the third goal from close range.

Berko will be at home in the semi-final to Kings Langley, Stotfold or Totterindge.

Vipond will be counting injured bodies before tomorrow’s SSML Premier Division trip to Hillingdon Borough.

The good news is that Ed Canham, Dan Griggs and Josh Chamberlain should be back in the squad.

On Wednesday, Berko travel to Potters Bar to play Hadley, while the Berkhamsted Reserves host Tring Athletic Reserves in the Suburban Shield on Saturday.