MRC 002 Berkhamsted Web 11 08 12 by CjSFU42y

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									                HODDESDON TOWN 1                    BERKHAMSTED 1
              FA Cup with Budweiser, Extra Preliminary Round
                                              th
                                Saturday 11 August 2012

       LILYWHITES DESERVEDLY EARN A REPLAY IN A NAIL-BITING CUP CONTEST.

Hoddesdon maintained their interest in this season’s FA Cup competition with a deserved
home draw against Premier Division side Berkhamsted on Saturday. The two sides will meet
                                      th
                       on
again at Broadwater th Tuesday 14 to decide who goes forward to a home tie against
Hadley on August 25 . Hoddesdon were ahead after only 36 seconds, perhaps the fastest
goal of the day in the FA Cup, and went on to dominate the first half. They should have been
further ahead than the one goal lead they held at half time, and they were made to paid in the
second half as Berkhamsted came back strongly to take control of the game and earn a
replay from the penalty mark.

Andy Crawford has learned he will be without Ben Darwin for a few more weeks as a result of
the poor tackle committed on him at Hinton recently, but fortunately for this game Damien
Thomas had been able to make himself available to feature alongside John Stevenson in
central defence. This meant Crawford was able to name an unchanged starting line-up from
the Charity Shield tie a week earlier. There was good cover for all areas from the seven
substitutes on the bench, which included Ryan Redford returning to the club for whom he
made 210 appearances up to the end of the 2004/05 season.

The small and mainly home partisan crowd had hardly settled in their places when
Hoddesdon took the lead almost straight from the kick-off. After Mark Teasdale’s precise pass
had found Barrington Brotherton, the effervescent midfielder played it inside to GARY
SIMMONDS whose clever chip from eighteen yards sailed over Carl Tusker in the
Berkhamsted goal and into the back of the net. 1 minute, 1-0. The goal was actually timed at
36 seconds perhaps making it the fastest ever opening to a competitive season for the
Lilywhites!

Scoring the early goal helped to build confidence amongst the Hoddesdon players, but they
had to deal with two dangerous free kicks shortly after they had secured the lead. The first
after only two minutes was well cleared, but the second a minute later fell to prolific striker
Lawrence Bunker who hit the ball low but well wide.

The set-pieces aside, Hoddesdon were looking the livelier of the two sides, and with eight
minutes gone, with a great header, Bean Andreos pulled a good save out of Carl Tusker
having done well to get on the end of a forty-yard free kick. On the quarter hour, Jamie
Brandon and Tony Neilson exchanged passes to set the former up for a terrific effort that the
Berkhamsted ‘keeper managed to turn away for a corner.

Playing out wide, Tony Neilson was proving to be a thorn in the side of the visitors’ defence,
and in the twentieth minute one of his mazy runs was illegally brought to an end some twenty-
five yards from goal. From a good position Neilson took responsibility for the resulting free
kick, and the ball was heading into the danger zone before deflecting off a defender. Ben
Andreos then managed to pick up the loose ball and return it to Tony Neilson whose drove
across the goal from the left flew just past the far post.

As the half progressed Hoddesdon managed to maintain their grip on the game, and were
always looking dangerous going forward. On the half hour, Tony Neilson was confronted by
no less than three defenders as he set off on another of his runs, but he succeeded in
outwitting all three before hitting a goal-bound effort that the ‘keeper managed to parry into
the path of a colleague who was able to effect a clearance. By now, Barrington Brotherton
was pulling all the strings in midfield, and the Berkhamsted defence was struggling to contain
Ben Andreos who was coming in for a lot of rough treatment every time he received the ball,
with little protection being offered him by the Referee.

Just before half time the visitors set up what was probably only their second attempt on the
Hoddesdon goal when Lawrence Bunker finished off a smart attack with a well struck drive
that pulled a great reflex save out of Reece Buck at the expense of a corner. Had
Berkhamsted equalised at that time it would have been rough justice for Hoddesdon who
were happy with their 1-0 interval lead, but from chances created they knew they should have
been at least a couple of goals to the good.

Berkhamsted came out a different side in the second half and took the game to their hosts.
They broke from the kick-off, and through on goal with only Reece Buck to beat Connor
Calcutt blasted the ball high over the Hoddesdon crossbar. A minute later, Reece Buck was
on the deck when Lawrence Bunker fired in a shot at his goal, but the home ‘keeper managed
to deflect the ball away with his right leg. To finish off a frantic three minute opening to the
second half, Tony Neilson at the other end of the pitch forced Carl Tusker into a good save as
the winger’s cross-cum-shot headed towards the top corner of the visitors’ goal.

Berkhamsted had clearly come out for the second half with the words of Mick Vipond still
ringing in their ears, and they showed much more purpose all over the field. Connor Calcutt
converted a cross from the right in the fifty-second minute but was deemed to be offside, and
a minute later Josh Chamberlain broke through down the left and fired in a shot that was well
saved low to his right by Reece Buck who was happy to concede a corner. From the resulting
set-piece Kevin Metivier was on hand to clear the ball off his line as a Berkhamsted player
stabbed the ball goalwards. In the fifty-fourth minute, and against the run of play, Hoddesdon
came close to doubling their lead when Jamie Brandon got on the end of a long free kick from
Mark Teasdale and from the right drove the ball across the goal and just wide of the far post.

Hoddesdon had been under the cosh and living dangerously for most of the first eleven
minutes of the second half when they were finally caught out. As Lawrence Bunker broke into
the Hoddesdon penalty area Damien Thomas put him under pressure but was then perhaps
harshly deemed to have brought him down as the two came together. Thomas protested
vehemently but the penalty was awarded and Bunker himself put the kick away to level the
scores. 56 minutes, 1-1.

Despite coming under intense pressure for most of then half, Hoddesdon were still able to
trouble the Berkhamsted defence from time to time. In the sixty-fifth minute, Gary Simmonds
flicked on Barrington Brotherton’s free kick from the left, and the ball fell to Jamie Brandon
who put it just wide. At this point Andy Crawford made the first of his two changes for the
afternoon when he brought on Ryan Redford for Pete Sawyer. Although the rest of his side
were starting to tire, Jamie Brandon remained lively, and in the sixty-sixth minute broke
through the defence and pulled another good save out of Carl Tusker in the Berkhamsted
goal.

Hoddesdon were desperately hanging on to the tie as the game entered the final quarter but
thought they had won a penalty in the seventy-third minute when Ben Andreos broke into the
visitors’ penalty area and was brought down by the ‘keeper. The Referee initially awarded a
penalty, but after both he and the nearby Assistant Referee came under pressure from the
Berkhamsted players they consulted before finally restarting the game with a dropped ball!
For the second week running Hoddesdon had been denied a penalty thanks to the
intervention of an Assistant Referee. Last week the change of decision to award a free kick
just outside the penalty area was understandable, how the two Officials came to the
conclusion they reached in this game will remain a mystery.

With seventy-five minutes gone Hoddesdon won a precious corner on the left, and after Tony
Neilson’s set-piece had been cleared to the edge of the penalty area, Ben Andreos fired in
another good effort that flew just wide of the target. Other than that, Hoddesdon had to
withstand a final push for victory from their visitors and did well to remain firm under pressure
and earn a replay they deserved. After seventy-eight minutes of terrific work Tony Neilson
was replaced by Colin Metivier, and the youngster helped to get his side over the finishing
line.

It had certainly been a game of two halves, Hoddesdon dominating the first half and
Berkhamsted coming back strongly in the second, but the Lilywhites were annoyed at
themselves for failing to convert the first half chances that would have given them a good
stepping stone for victory. Barrington Brotherton was immense in midfield for Hoddesdon, and
was a strong contender for their man-of-the-match award, but he was just shaded out by
Reece Buck who, despite perhaps having less work overall to do than his counterpart at the
other end, was steady throughout and pulled off two excellent saves to keep his side in the
tie.

So it’s back to Broadwater on Tuesday evening for the second chapter of this Extra
Preliminary Round tie, and the Hoddesdon lads will be hoping for better fortune in front of
goal. Their opening League game at Wodson Park on Wednesday has had to be postponed
of course, and so the League campaign finally gets underway at Amersham Town next
             th
Saturday, 18 August.

Hoddesdon Town 11 08 12
Reece Buck, Mark Teasdale, Kevin Metivier, John Stevenson, Damien Thomas, Barrington
Brotherton, Gary Simmonds, Pete Sawyer (Ryan Redford, 66), Ben Andreos, Jamie
Brandon, Tony Neilson (Colin Metivier, 78)

								
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