Free-scoring Berkhamsted moved back into the top six of the SSML Premier Division with a convincing 5-1 win at Oxhey Jets on Saturday.
James Baldry was fit to return to the Berko defence, allowing Adam Mead to move up the pitch, while George Carbery was recalled and had a fine game as Josh Chamberlain missed out with flu.
It was Mead who opened the scoring with a fierce shot that gave the Jets goalkeeper no chance, before a groin strain to Steve Hawes brought on Jude Eboji and forced Berko to again rearrange the side.
Dan Weeks moved across the back four and Mead reverted to defence, with Jets’ man of the match Adam Lowton almost capitalising on the reshuffle as he struck the cross bar when he broke through on goal.
However, Berko regrouped and some careless defending from the home team allowed Bradley O’Donovan to shoot home two more first half goals for the Comrades who sailed into a 3-0 lead.
A dead leg for Max Farrelly meant he was replaced by Jay Caines in the first half, and the Jets pulled a goal back through Jon Daily with a shot in first half stoppage time.
Berko soon restored their three-goal cushion soon after the interval, however, as Frankie Jowle scored the goal of the game. He brought the ball down well and beat two men before shooting past Baker to make it 4-1.
There was further good news for the Comrades as Adiel Mannion – who was injured in a pre-season game – came off the bench and marked his first competitive match of the season with the fifth Berko goal.
As Hoddesdon Town were winning in the FA Cup, Berko moved above them into sixth spot in the Premier division table with a game in hand on most teams above them.
Berko: Tasker, Edwards, Weeks, Baldry, Hawes (Eboji), Farrelly (Caines), Jowle, Carbery, O’Donovan, Mead, Jackson (Mannion).
Ed Canham proved his fitness after a knee injury, with 90 minutes football when he captained Berko’s reserve side at home to Aylesbury on Saturday.
James Blyth put Berko in front in the second half but the visitors came back and scored twice to take the points in a close match.
Next up for the reserves is a trip to Leverstock Green on Saturday in the Suburban League North.
Berkhamsted have another chance to earn league points on Tuesday when they entertain London Tigers.
Attention then turns to the FA Vase, with Northampton ON Chenecks from the United Counties League visiting Broadwater for the first time on Saturday.
If the scores are level after extra-time, a replay will take place in Northampton next Tuesday.
More cup news is that Berko have been drawn at home to Kings Langley of the Southern League in the first round of the Herts Senior Cup on Tuesday, November 3.
If successful, the Comrades have the plum tie of a home game with Watford on December 1 in the second round of the competition.
The date has also been set for the next round of Berko’s defence of the Premier Division Cup when they are away to Hadley on Wednesday, October 14.