Berkhamsted blitz Baldock in a simply smashing Vase victory

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Berkhamsted sailed through to the second round of the FA Vase with a comfortable 4-1 victory at Baldock Town.

The Comrades bossed the game against a physical Baldock side and deservedly earned the win with a Jamie Gavin brace and further goals from Frankie Jowle and James Bent.

It was a good day at the office for Berko – tarnished only by a nasty ankle break for Adiel Mannion at the start of the game – and the Comrades will play the winners of the first found replay between Swaffham Town and Hullbridge Sports in the next round on Saturday, November 16.

Berko manager Mick Vipond was understandably pleased with the win, and is urging his players to keep up their good form and embark on an extended run in the competition.

“I would say again that we weren’t at our very best but it was a pleasing result,” said Vipond. “We conceded a silly goal which I wasn’t too happy about but we scored four and it could have been five or six.

“When you sit down in the dressing room with the players and tell them that this competition gives them a chance to play at Wembley, they think you are in dreamland.

“But the old Berko Town got to the final at Villa Park and, with a little bit of luck, it is possible.”

The pattern Saturday’s of game was set early on, with Berko’s Connor Calcutt having an early goal disallowed for offside.

Disaster then struck for Mannion as he dribbled round three men but fell awkwardly under a challenge from a Baldock defender and was stretchered off to hospital.

Gavin was playing in central midfield in place of the suspended Steve Hawes and he popped up to give Berko their opening two goals.

His first was a blistering top-corner strike from 20 yards that gave home keeper Nicky Stilwell no chance and his second was another fierce shot after Bekim Culaj picked him out with a good cross from the left wing.

Baldock rarely threatened in the first half and Berko went three goals up when a Josh Chamberlain cross was headed on by Calcutt for Frankie Jowle to sweep the ball home for his first goal of the season.

Slack marking enabled Lee Harman to pull one back for Baldock from close range before the interval, but Berko responded well and only some careless finishing prevented the game from turning into a rout.

Baldock were reduced to ten men as their frustration began to show, and Bent came off the bench to wrap up the game in clinical fashion as he finished off a fine move down the left.

The victory maintained Berko’s promising start to the new campaign, and Vipond added: “Things are going well at the moment but there is a long, long way to go.”