Skipper off as Comrades slide to record defeat

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Hanwell Town 7 Berkhamsted 1

Berkhamsted must have wished the big freeze had claimed this game as they slid to their heaviest ever defeat on Saturday.

Home team Hanwell were the only team in the five divisions of the Spartan South Midlands League to have a playable pitch.

And after racing into an early lead they never looked back.

Skipper Dan Griggs returned to Mick Vipond’s side after a lengthy suspension, Glenn Thompson was back after injury and striker Connor Calcutt made his first start in three months.

But Hanwell’s pacey young wingers gave the Berko full backs a torrid time, crossing carefully to create goals by picking out forwards who kept losing their markers.

Bill Healey converted a right wing cross for the first goal and Hanwell were two up inside the first quarter of an hour when Connor Duffy headed home past Carl Tasker after a break down the left wing.

At the other end Calcutt fired a shot just the wrong side of the post.

The busy Tasker kept Berko in the game with a fine save, back-pedalling, and the visitors survived a penalty appeal against Gavin for possible handball.

Just before the break Griggs was booked for a tackle that saw the home player substituted.

Hanwell hit the bar with a header while Calcutt snapped a shot just inches beyond the post.

But when Berko got the ball in the net it was only because Griggs punched a cross into the goal – and that meant a second yellow and his team reduced to 10 men.

Jordon Frederick also picked up a booking for dissent.

Substitute Charlie Baverstock put Hanwell three up before Thompson spotted the keeper off his line and netted to make it 3-1. Bekim Culaj had a free kick in a dangerous position but fired over the bar.

Tasker came out to head a clearance but the ball broke for Duffy to net his second to make it 4-1.

Vipond brought on teenage substitutes Ashley Morrissey and Harry Sedgley to add impetus.

But a Josh Chamberlain own goal that emphasised it was not the Comrades’ day and two more goals in injury time completed the rout.