Eight unanswered second-half goals saw Berkhamsted Raiders Under-13 Blues cruise into the next round of the Dick Hopkins Memorial Cup with a 13-1 romp at Bedgrove Dynamos Youth.
With defenders Reece Marchant, Kian Heneghan, Ryan Colmer and Oli Sharpling barely allowing the hosts any possession in the final third, Raiders dominated from the outset.
Finnlee Ferguson rounded the keeper for the opening goal after three minutes before Paddy Read struck twice to make it 3-0.
Read and Liam French carved out two in four minutes for Oscar Lenane and, although the hosts pulled one back, the half-time 5-1 scoreline barely reflected Raiders’ dominance.
Ferguson smashed home his second from long range for Berko’s sixth shortly after the restart and Will Smooker made it 7-1 in the 50th minute after skipping past two challenges.
It was in the closing stages that Berko really made their superiority tell, hitting six more in the last 10 minutes. Regular keeper Jack Heginbottom had to play in the outfield due to a hand injury and duly helped himself to a hat-trick, while Ollie Pitblado swept home a cross for Raiders’ ninth.
Read, whose pace caused havoc all morning, completed a deserved hat-trick and Smooker cracked home his second on the half-volley from the edge of the box.
“This group has a huge amount of ability and they showed how devastating they can be when they focus on passing and playing football in every area of the pitch,” Raiders boss Darren Heneghan said.
n On a bitterly cold afternoon two old rivals, Kings Langley Lions and Little Gaddesden put on a very watchable show in a 2-2 draw in the West Herts League Under-15s.
Gadd had the bulk of possession and attack in the opening 20 minutes resulting in a sublime first strike. Will Green chased onto a lovely through ball and whipped a cross to Ted Holland, who venomously volleyed it in.
Ten minutes later Josh Harrison deftly finished off another fine piece of teamwork to double their lead.
A lapse in concentration allowed the Lions to pull one back before half-time.
Lions soaked up more pressure after the restart and were dangerous on the counter. The hosts’ keeper had a tremendous game, denying numerous strikes.
Lions levelled and try as they might Gadd couldn’t break the hosts’ resolve.
Spoils shared, Gadd may regret not taking all the points but it was a more spirited performance.
Gadd’s man of the match was keeper Alex Porter, who made some fine saves.