Berkhamsted managed to pull off their biggest and best win of the season when beating fourth-placed Didcot Town 5-1 on Saturday – despite being reduced to ten men for much of the games.
The vital home win ensured Berko stay in the Southern League Division One Central playoff race. The three points puts them two points and three places adrift of fifth-placed Sutton Coldfield Town in the final playoff spot, but The Comrades have a game in hand.
Didcot went 1-0 up on four minutes when Luke Carnell converted following Sam Barder’s long throw-in.
Berko quickly equalised from the penalty spot on nine minutes through Matt Bateman, after an illegal challenge was punished.
But Berko were then down to ten men on 11 minutes when Lewis Rodrigoe saw red for a tackle the referee deemed to be two-footed.
But despite being a man down to a higher team, Berko controlled it from there.
Jonathan Lacey scampered up the right wing and crossed into the box for Bateman to put Berko 2-1 ahead.
Bateman completed his third hat-trick of the season in the 19th minute to make it 3-1 for his 37th goal this term.
It was 4-1 on 74 minutes when a good through-ball from Dan Jones saw Lacey beat the offside trap and calmly slot past fellow England FA representative side team-mate Leigh Bedwell.
The fifth arrived late on when sub Andrew Ofuso saw his shot saved, but Lacey converted the rebound.
With just seven games left, Berko faced a crunch clash last night (Tuesday) when visiting sixth-placed Bedford Town, knowing a win would propel them into the playoff places. They then visit third-placed Corby Town this Saturday.