Extra-time heartbreak as Berkhamsted are beaten by Watford

Match action from Berkhamsted's defeat to Watford. Picture (c) Ray Canham

Match action from Berkhamsted's defeat to Watford. Picture (c) Ray Canham

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Berkhamsted battled hard but eventually suffered a 3-1 defeat to Watford in the Herts Senior Cup, with extra-time strikes from Andrew Eleftheriou and substitute Dion Pereira securing the victory for the Hornets.

Berkhamsted took the lead in the first-half thanks to a tap-in from former Hornet Alex Campana, before Watford striker Ogo Obi equalised halfway through the second period.

Match action from Berkhamsted's defeat to Watford. Picture (c) Ray Canham

Match action from Berkhamsted's defeat to Watford. Picture (c) Ray Canham

Neither team was able to grab a winner in normal time, and with a penalty shoot-out looming, Eleftheriou and Pereira struck late to ensure the Golden Boys progressed safely through to the quarter-finals of the competition.

It was the Hornets who made the brightest start, with Obi and Lewis coming close within the opening 10 minutes. First Obi could only fire wide from a tight angle after doing well to round Carl Tasker in the Berkhamsted goal, before Lewis fired just over with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty-area.

However, it was the home side who took the lead on 35 minutes. The Watford defence was caught napping by a quick free-kick, allowing winger Frankie Jowle to whip a dangerous ball across the face of goal, where former Watford Academy graduate Campana was waiting to tap into an empty net and give the Comrades a 1-0 advantage at the break.

Watford started the second-half in a similar fashion to the first. This time it was wide-man Treon Johnson who set up Lewis after a fine run, but much like the opening stages of the game, he could again only fire narrowly over.

Steve Hawes was presented with a tankard on 250th his appearance by former Watford boss Malky Mackay. Picture (c) Ray Canham

Steve Hawes was presented with a tankard on 250th his appearance by former Watford boss Malky Mackay. Picture (c) Ray Canham

The Golden Boys continued to push forward with Cook forcing a good save from keeper Tasker after 60 minutes. However, Horseman’s side didn’t have to wait much longer for the equalising goal, with Obi striking moments later.

The Academy forward, who had been lively all evening, picked up the ball on the left-hand side before driving into the heart of the home defence and firing a powerful strike beyond the despairing dive of Tasker and into the bottom right-hand corner.

The goal appeared to spur the Hornets on and Obi looked destined to get his and Watford’s second shortly after, only to see his goalbound strike superbly blocked by defender James Baldry.

As the game approached 90 minutes, both Makaka for the Hornets and Campana for Berkhamsted came close to stealing a winner, but neither really troubled the keeper as the game entered extra-time.

In a first-half of very little goalmouth action, the Hornets went ahead for the first time five minutes into the second-period. Defender Eleftheriou was allowed to progress unopposed towards the Berkhamsted penalty area, before letting fly from a full 25 yards and superbly firing into the bottom corner.

With the home side now pushing on in a desperate search for an equaliser, substitute Pereira was left with time and space to calmly slot beyond Tasker and wrap up a deserved win for the Golden Boys.