Herts Senior Cup Quarter-Final Tue 20 February Cheshunt Stadium
  • Pendlebury (20', 29')
  • Bustamente (6', 85')
  • Newton (31')

Cheshunt were dealt a huge blow as a late strike from Max Bustamante earned Berkhamsted a place in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup. Alfie Pendlebury scored his first two goals for the club but it wasn’t enough to get the Ambers through.

Craig Edwards made four changes to the side that was defeated late on against Cray Wanderers at the weekend. Winger Jamie Reynolds was welcomed back to the side as his League suspension was not covering this competition &  he captained the side at Theobalds Lane.  Kyle Bailey and Tomas Mendes came in for their first starts for the club and Enock Ekongo returned to the team at right back. Under 18 goalkeeper Teddy Jefcoate was named on the bench for the first time after impressing manager Craig Edwards in training. Raul DaSilva, formerly of the Ambers started in the heart of the defence for the Comrades.

The visitors had most of the opportunities in the opening minutes, and it didn’t take them long to take the lead. A stray back pass saw a ball in behind the defence allowing Max Bustamante to get in one on one with the keeper. He found his way past Bert White and managed to squeeze it in from a tight angle.

The Comrades went close again as the goal scorer set up Matt Bateman, who’s strike looked like it was going to trouble the Cheshunt keeper, but it went across the face of goal. Bustamante almost scored again as the ball set up for him perfectly to hit a volley. His superb effort cannoned off the top of the crossbar.

The Ambers equalised when  Alfie Pendlebury headed his side back into the game. Taylor Miles’ short corner from the left allowed Jamie Reynolds to whip in a brilliant cross on his left foot. It found Pendlebury in the centre of the box who rose highest and headed home. Pendlebury found himself one-on-one again just minutes later, but Jamie Head in the visitors goal managed to put it out for a corner.

Nathaniel Orafu won the ball back powerfully in midfield he played the ball inch perfectly through to Pendlebury who then calmly slotted home to give Cheshunt a lead. However, the lead lasted just under two minutes as Dan Newton headed his side back level. A long throw was flicked on by the Berko defender and somehow found its way into the back of the Cheshunt net.

The next chance fell to the Comrades as a long free kick found Raul DaSilva who rose highest, but he headed straight into the grateful arms of Bert White, Pendlebury then had a chance to make it a hat trick after some brilliant build up play down the left side. However, a defender beat the big number 9 to the ball and put it out for a corner.

From the corner, Cheshunt tried a similar corner routine to the opener. Jamie Reynolds’ cross found Billy Bates at the front post, but he couldn’t quite direct it into the back of the net. The final chance of the half was from midfielder Taylor Miles. His low driven shot was blocked very well by the Berkhamsted defence

HT: 2-2

The second half continued like the first with opportunities at both ends. The game continued to be very stop start for the first 20 minutes of the half with plenty of challenges flying in.

The first big chances of the second period fell to the Ambers. Billy Bates headed Vas Vasiliou’s corner over the crossbar. Then Nathaniel Orafu managed to get on the end of a ball in from Enock Ekongo, but the midfielder couldn’t find the target. Billy Bates got on the end of another Vasiliou corner, but his volley went just wide of the post.

Cheshunt had a massive chance as Pendlebury was in acres of space one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Orafu player yet another brilliant ball in behind the Berko defence but Pendlebury’s effort was saved very well by Head. So close to getting a hat trick in just his second game in an Amber shirt.

Despite all the chances falling to Cheshunt in the second half. It was Berkhamsted that took the lead with just five minutes to go. Matt Bateman headed a cross in off the crossbar and Max Bustamante was first to react to put his side 3-2 up.

The Ambers were pushing hard to find an equaliser to take the game to penalties, but it wasn’t to be.

FT: Cheshunt 2-3 Berkhamsted.