Three goals in extra time provided the thrills as Berkhamsted extended their winning run to seven games on the spin, dumping Hertford Town out of the FA Vase in the process.
On-fire marksman Connor Calcutt claimed two more strikes including the winner in the tight 3-2 victory, but it looked touch and go when the visitors edged into the lead in the first period of extra time.
Manager Mick Vipond gambled on fresh legs and a more attacking formation to rescue the tie, and he was rewarded when his side equalised through skipper Dan Griggs with five minutes left and then Calcutt made it nine goals in four games two minutes from time.
The Broadwater crowd had to wait until the second half for goals, despite plenty of effort on both sides.
Ed Canham was a threat when he came up for corner kicks at the railway end and just before the break Carl Tasker produced his best save to keep out a free kick from Mark Summers.
After the restart Josh Chamberlain shot wide when clear at the back post for the Comrades, while for Hertford skipper Anthony Anstead hit the post when he spotted Tasker off his line.
Berkhamsted got their noses in front on the hour mark when Frankie Jowle broke and squared for Calcutt to continue his purple patch by sweeping the ball home.
The equaliser came when a Jamie Gavin deflection left Tasker stranded and the ball looped in at the back post.
At the other end a probing Lewis Rodrigoe free kick was met by Jamie Gavin whose header was just over the bar.
As the game went into extra time there was little to separate the sides, but then Hertford centre half Tommy Wade came up from defence and put the visitors in front as the clock ticked down on the first period.
Mick Vipond sent on Ashley Morrissey and Bekim Culaj for their first appearances of the season and gambled on a more attacking formation.
After skipper Griggs swept home the equaliser he put the ball in the net again only to be denied by an offside flag. Culaj put a shot wide as Berkhamsted went all out for the winner.
Calcutt’s decider came when his shot beat Harry Ricketts from a fine pass from the right wing by the speedy breaking Culaj. .
The victory has earned the Comrades a home tie against Buckingham Town in the next round, on Saturday, September 21.
Berkhamsted are back in league action against Hillingdon Borough on Tuesday night, when they will look to consolidate their fourth place in the Premier division table.
It’s back to cup action on Saturday with a trip to Daventry Town, who have a 100 per cent league record in the Calor League Central. Supporters are welcome on the team coach which leaves Broadwater at 11.15am on Saturday. The cost for will be £10.
If a replay is needed it will be at Broadwater on Tuesday, September 17 replacing the league trip to Oxhey Jets.
There’s also a Suburban League match at Broadwater on Saturday with Berkhamsted entertaining Tring Athletic reserves, kicking off at 3pm.
On Thursday night Berkhamsted’s U18s won 5-1 at home to Hillingdon. Kai Lewis opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Jay Caines doubled the lead after 18 minutes.
Keeper Liam Pereira got a yellow card when he conceded a penalty which Hillingdon scored to make it 2-1 at half time. Berko were on top throughout the game and it was no surprise when Caines got a third and substitute Brad Turner bagged a brace at the canal end. On Wednesday the U18s have their third home game on the trot, when they entertain the early division leaders Colney Heath.