Berkhamsted 1 Hanwell Town 1
BERKHAMSTED were held to a frustrating home draw as bottom of the table side Hanwell put in a gutsy display to bag a point at Broadwater.
In front of the biggest crowd in the Molten Spartan League on Saturday, Hanwell took the lead through Nathan Munroe, but substitute Kerkstun Macpherson replied with a well-placed free-kick for Berko.
The result leaves the Comrades in ninth place in the MSSML Premier Divsion, four points adrift of eighth-placed Colney Heath. Mick Vipond’s side are now winless in their last four outings.
Hanwell’s lowly position in the table was somewhat misleading on Saturday, however, with a new management team and new players brought in recently in a bid to avoid relegation.
The first half was goalless, but Matt Wardle squandered a glorious chance to give the Comrades the lead.
After a handball in the area, Wardle stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick but his placed effort lacked power and Hanwell keeper Kieran Jimmy dived low to his right to keep the ball out.
Berko had another chance from the rebound, but Jimmy came to the visitors’ rescue again and the ball was eventually cleared away to safety.
Hanwell began to play well as the match progressed and showed confidence which would not be expected from a team struggling at the wrong end of the table.
The visitors eventually took the lead early in the second half as the ball broke to Munroe outside the penalty area and he fired his shot through a crowd of players and into the net, giving Comrades keeper Ed Farmer no chance.
The goal led to a reaction from Berkhamsted, however, and Frankie Jowle went close after being teed-up by Usmani.
Usmani was then replaced by Macpherson as Berko boss Vipond made changes in search of an equaliser, and his switch paid off almost immediately.
Dale Sears was felled on the left of the penalty area, and Macpherson’s low free-kick caught out the Hanwell defence to restore parity.
Youngster Josh Chamberlain was introduced for Berko and he came close twice, but with no further goals, both teams were made to settle for a point.
Next up for Berko is a trip to high-flying AFC Dunstable tomorrow night, before the side take on Leverstock Green in a Dacorum derby on Saturday.
Berko currently trail Levy by just three points.
Vipond has added to his forward options by signing Courtney Francis who was with the club for part of last season and is now seemingly over his injury problems.