Comrades earn FA Cup replay

6/8/2011'Berkhamsted FC ( in yellow and blue) versus London Lions.'Matt Wardle with ball.
6/8/2011'Berkhamsted FC ( in yellow and blue) versus London Lions.'Matt Wardle with ball.

St Albans City 0 Berkhamsted 0

An under-strength Berkhamsted side produced an FA Cup shock as they held Evo-stik Southern Premier Division side St Albans to a 0-0 draw at Clarence Park.

The Comrades went into the first qualifying round tie missing a number of first team regulars, but showed unity and character throughout to earn the draw.

And the Berkhamsted faithful will now be on tenterhooks – with the two clubs meeting in the replay at Broadwater in just a few hours’ time.

Mick Vipond’s Berko side made a confident start against their hosts on at Clarence Park, with Mark Welling producing an early effort on goal.

Both sides created further chances as the half progressed, with Jordan Toomey looking particularly threatening for Berko.

And the Comrades’ best effort of the half came late on, with Josh Chamberlain’s curled free-kick producing a fine save from St Albans keeper Nick Jupp.

The second half started in a similar manor to the first, with both sides looking to find the elusive breakthrough.

Eddie Farmer was having a good game in goal for Berko – repelling everything that came his way – while Matt Wardle tried his luck at the other end.

St Albans began to press with more intent as the half progressed, but the Comrades held firm to earn the replay.

Berko boss Vipond was understandably delighted with the result. “It was excellent,” he said. “We could’ve won it and so could they.

“Our commitment was tremendous – we backed each other up well. I was really proud.

“The boys were superb - we played without any fear and we are delighted to have earned another bite at the cherry.”

Vipond expected another tough match going into the replay, but saw no reason why is side couldn’t earn a famous win.

“You would think there will be a big reaction from them (St Albans) but our boys will turn up thinking we can beat them.”