Comrades hit Hertford for four to storm through to cup semis

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Four tremendous second half goals fired Berkhamsted through to the semi-finals of the Challenge Trophy on Saturday as they thrashed Hertford Town 4-0 at the third attempt to complete the game.

The influential Rose brothers were missing for Hertford and the clash was totally different from the one that was abandoned with Hertford 2-1 up a couple of weeks ago.

Goalkeeper Carl Tasker made his 200th first team appearance in goal for the Comrades and he was able to celebrate a clean sheet as Town hardly threatened this time around.

In a strong start to the game, Tom Carter shot wide for Berko and fit-again Josh Chamberlain had a shot blocked, while a Dale Sears header was nodded off the line as the home side dominated at the Railway End.

There were no goals in the first half, however, and home fans were left wondering whether the missed chances would cost Berko.

Early in the second half, Sears again headed over from a Carter free-kick, before the latter picked up a booking in a tussle with ex-Comrade Tyler Hatherley who also got a yellow card.

It was the introduction of Frankie Jowle and Nick Jackson for the final 20 minutes that eventually changed the game.

Dan Edwards popped up from right-back to place a clever header beyond Harry Ricketts from a cross by left-back Dan Weeks to open the floodgates.

Chamberlain then surged inside the penalty area from the right and curled a delightful left-footed chip over Ricketts to make it 2-0 minutes later.

Not long afterwards, Jackson beat several men in a run along the bye-line from the left and his low hard centre was rammed home by Jowle.

Adiel Mannion added a fourth with a neat finish as he raced down the left channel of the penalty area, to wrap up an emphatic win for the Comrades.

Berko looked like adding more goals and there was controversy over two disallowed home efforts, with the offside flag surprising the home support as Jowle netted.

The Comrades now travel to Chesham United for the semi-final on Wednesday, March 2 (kick-off 7.30pm), with the Biggleswade United league game being postponed to make way. The winners will face Welwyn Garden City or Codicote in the final.

Berko: Tasker, Edwards, Weeks, Baldry, Sears, Rodrigoe, Farrelly (Jackson), Hawes (Carbery), Mannion, Carter (Jowle), Chamberlain. Subs not used: Eboji & Gilbert.

Elsewhere, Berko’s reserve side went down 2-1 at Hartley Wintney, with Ross Trevillion getting the Comrades’ goal and Ricky Hone being man of the match for the visitors.

On Saturday Berko are at home to Welwyn Garden City in the SSML Premier Division. The reserves go to Biggelswade United on Saturday in a battle at the bottom of the Suburban League North.