Berko went down in their opening pre-season match on Saturday, after being punished for a few defensive mistakes by Rovers from the Essex Senior League. With Lewis Rodrigoe, Bekim Culaj and Dale Sears all unavailable, Mick Vipond gave three newcomers a chance in defence. Young Jake Broome from Leverstock Green and Tom Hardy played at full back with tall Ed Canham coming in at centre half.

The first half was very even with the sides separated by just a Billy Johnson goal, after a careless pass at the canal end was intercepted and he ran on to score. Berko spurned the chance to equalise in the second half when Josh Chamberlain was hauled down in the penalty area. However, a brilliant save from the visiting keeper kept out Connor Calcutt’s spot kick.

Johnson doubled the lead when he was released by some slick passing. The visitors also hit the post with a fierce shot from the right wing. Player manager Dan Trenkel beat the offside trap and rounded off the scoring when the defence was caught square. Canham headed over from substitute Adam Mead’s corner. Ashley Morrissey fired in some good shots for Berko, with one drive just clearing the bar and the keeper was in fine form to stop his next two efforts. The return of Steve Hawes from AFC Dunstable was another plus for the Comrades.

Tasker; Broome(Thompson), Hardy(Mead), Canham, Gavin, Hawes, Chamberlain (Morrissey), Frederick, Calcutt, Griggs, Jowle(Towell).

Berko also sent a side to Tring Corinthians on Saturday and came away with a 3-2 win from their friendly. Jordan Aikman and Ben Humphrey (last year’s reserve player of the year) scored for Berko before teenager Jay Caines shot the winner from 30 yards.

On Tuesday night Berko are at home to Ryman Premier division side Wingate & Finchley.


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