Lacklustre Comrades leave Vipond fuming

Action from Berkhamsted's loss to Hadley. Picture courtesy of Richard Solk
Action from Berkhamsted's loss to Hadley. Picture courtesy of Richard Solk

Berkhamsted 1-2 Hadley

Comrades manager Mick Vipond has slammed his players after a dismal performance against Hadley on Saturday.

Over 200 spectators gathered at Broadwater for the game, but Berko put in a lacklustre display which saw them drop from second to sixth in the MSSML Premier Division table.

Vipond’s side had taken the lead through a Steve Hawes header, but Hadley hit back with two goals before half-time to turn the game on its head.

And the Berko boss was not holding back in his criticism of the Comrades players.

“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “It’s important as a manager that you protect the players like I do, but you also have to be honest with them, which we certainly were after the game.

“We had a lot of people there and put in a really, really disappointing performance.

“We were toothless up front, poor across the midfield and very disorganised in defence.

“Hadley were a good, hard-working side but they were a side we should have given a good game of football. The players have to take responsibility for it and I feel sorry for the people that came to watch.

“I think we prepared well for the game, and we expected the players to be lifted by the fans.

“Everything was there for the players to go out and play well, but they didn’t – I’m at a loss to describe why we were so bad.

“I felt embarrassed to go in our clubhouse afterwards.”

The attendance for the match was swelled by a number of youngsters and parents who were taking advantage of special discounted entrance fees, as well as a half-time penalty shoot-out between Berko Raiders sides.

Vipond handed a debut to new signing Mark Teasdale, and things looked to be going well for Berko as they took the lead inside the first 10 minutes.

A free-kick was swung into the area, and Hawes was left unmarked at the back post to nod his side in front.

However, that was as good as it got for Berko and Hadley were back on level terms in the 24th minute as Darren Turner slotted home the equaliser.

And things went from bad to worse for Vipond’s side as the visitors took the lead. A punt upfield by Adam Robinson was met by the speedy Ricky Gibbs, who outpaced the defence and shot past Ed Farmer to put Hadley in front.

Chances were few and far between for the rest of the game, and the Berko midfield was struggling to create any real opportunities for the front men,

Hawes and Frankie Jowle got booked for the Comrades, but there was little other action of note as the game drifted to a forgettable conclusion.