Berko fared better than on their last trip to Hanwell, holding one of the title favourites in a goalless first half. However things went pear shaped in the last half hour, when they went behind, then had a man sent off, and the 10 men conceded two late goals.

Connor Calcutt had the first two shots for Berko before they conceded a free kick that was headed narrowly wide. Recent signing from Totternhoe, Luke Hickson cleared off his own line from an overhead kick. A rising drive from Adam Mead just cleared the bar and Calcutt headed a fine Frankie Jowle right wing cross over the goal with the chance of the half. When these two sides meet there is usually some friction, but the referee settled for words rather than cards in the first half, except that Jordon Frederick went in the book. Towards the end of the half Carl Tasker saved Berko, parrying snap shots as forwards kept breaking through. Ed Canham has added height to the Berko defence and allowed Jamie Gavin to revert to full back, where he had a better game.

Aftger the interval Tasker was again busy making saves. At the other end, Frederick got round the back of the defence but could not control the ball. The opening goal came on the hour mark when Billy Healey placed a superb shot into the top right hand corner of the goal from the edge of the penalty area. It became end to end football with Calcutt hitting shots at one end and Tasker making double saves at the other end. Berko introduced two substitutes, new signing from Leighton Town Alex McCarthy and Glenn Thompson to try and pep up the midfield, but they did not see much of the ball.

The decisive moment was 10 minutes from the end when in front of the assistant Frankie Jowle ended up wrestling on the floor with a Hanwell defender. Jowle got a red card for what was really retaliation and Hanwell escaped with one yellow card as the match officials missed the original offences. An irate Mick Vipond was sent to the stands for approaching the assistant referee just before the game restarted.

Hanwell’s player of last season Tom Kennedy had a goal chalked off earlier in the game but made no mistake from close range when the Berko defence failed to clear the ball. Healey scored 24 goals last season and he rubbed salt in the wounds with the third goal after latching on to a high bouncing ball in the last minute.

Tasker; Gavin, Copson, Canham,Hickson, Hawes,  Jowle,  Gavin, Frederick, Calcutt, Mead(McCarthy), Towell(Thompson) Substitutes not used Hardy, Bevan & Coultas.

Berko’s development squad went down 6-1 at home to Uxbridge Reserves in their final pre-season friendly at home to Uxbridge on Saturday. Mitchell Cole scored for the Comrades. It followed a 2-2 draw at Bovingdon on Thursday night when Tyler Smith and Ashley Badwin netted for the young Berko side.

On Saturday it is FA Cup with Budweiser time at Broadwater when Berko entertain AFC Dunstable in a game that kicks off at 3pm. Josh Chamberlain will be available again for Berko. If a replay is needed it will be at Creasey Park on Wednesday night.

Berko’s development squad start their Suburban League season at champions Royston Town on Saturday.


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