Hat-trick hero Calcutt ensures revenge is sweet for the Comrades

Connor Calcutt scored a hat-trick, including two headers, against Holmer Green
Connor Calcutt scored a hat-trick, including two headers, against Holmer Green

Berkhamsted got swift revenge on Holmer Green after Saturday’s league defeat by knocking them out of the Challenge Trophy on Tuesday night thanks to a hat-trick from Connor Calcutt.

Comrades manager Mick Vipond made three changes to his starting line-up – with Ed Canham and Lewis Rodrigoe returning to the defence and Frankie Jowle back on the right wing – and the side looked much more balanced.

Calcutt headed in the opening goal in the 11th minute when a cross from the right was flicked into his path by strike-partner Josh Chamberlain.

Soon afterwards, an audacious lob from 30 yards by Steve Hawes caught Ben Boulter off his line but the ball rebounded off the crossbar to the relief of the home fans.

Berko were creating a host of chances and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead five minutes before the interval.

Jowle fed Ben Bulter and he turned neatly to lay the ball on for Calcutt to net again.

In the second half Jowle went clear and looked ready to score, but a defender recovered well to put the ball wide for a corner.

Home skipper Gary Lines foolishly kicked out at Chamberlain outside the touchline and got a red card, and Berko upped the ante with Canham heading against the bar and a smashing volley from Chamberlain going the wrong side of the post.

Calcutt finally claimed his hat-trick by heading home an inviting cross from the left by Chamberlain to wrap up the win.

Berko will be at home in the next round of the competition to the winners of the January tie between Hanwell Town and St Margaretsbury.

On Saturday, third-placed Berko go to Hertford Town in the SSML Premier Division looking to get their promotion bid back on track. Hawes misses the match having accumulated too many bookings.

On Tuesday, the Comrades have a tough Herts Senior Cup tie at home to Boreham Wood who are from three divisions above them.

The Reserves entertain Dunstable Town on Saturday in the Suburban League, while Berko’s U18s play Colney Heath two Wednesdays running to complete their Olympian Division league programme.