Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond has heaped praise on his side after they pushed high flying Hemel Town all the way in last night’s Herts Senior Cup semi-final.
The Tudors eventually won the game 2-1 with goals from Jordan Parkes and Nicke Kabamba, but Berkhamsted can be rightly proud of their gutsy performance.
“I’m proud as punch of the boys, I really am,” said Vipond. “Four days ago we were playing a team in our league and got beaten 3-0 – we defended poorly and didn’t have a shot on target apart from one.
“Today we’ve played a Conference side who are two or three notches higher than us and I’m massively proud of how the boys did.
“I’m massively disappointed that we’re not in the final because we had a couple of moments towards the end where we could have taken something out of the game. We could have been 1-0 up in the first half after hitting the base of the post.
“I’m sure Hemel will be thinking that it wasn’t an easy night from first whistle to last whistle. They had to be at their best and they had to concentrate all the way through.”
We can go into the bar, hold our heads up high, and be proud of what we’ve done.Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond
“In the end, for their first goal is our centre-half fouling their centre-forward or is their centre-forward impeding our centre-half?
“But we’ve got to go to Hoddesdon on Saturday and bring the same quality, the same commitment, the same desire, the same discipline and the same concentration and make sure we maintain this standard.”
The Berkhamsted manager felt the game was a good test for his young side, and believes they will learn plenty from the experience of playing against a team of Hemel’s calibre.
“I’ve always said that you don’t learn anything by winning 3, 4 or 5-0 every week, you learn by the tough times and the tough moments when you are tested strongly by the opposition,” he said.
“That’s how you learn and grow and gain experience. You learn in defeat sometimes more than you do when you win games.”
There is still plenty for Berkhamsted to play for this season, and Vipond is urging his side to maintain the standards set against their Conference South opponents on Tuesday night.
“We’ve still got Holmer Green to play in the Premier Division Cup semi-final,” added Vipond. “I’ve told the players that, although they are second or third from bottom, if we turn up with the attitude that they’re not Hemel, then we’ll lose the game.
“Football is all about intelligence, concentration and desire to win things and do well every week.”