Berkhamsted had a comfortable third win on the trot on Tuesday night as they cruised to 5-3 victory over Hertford Town.
The Comrades scored five goals in the first half, with BJ Christie helping himself to a hat-trick to return to the team’s top scorer position.
Christie headed the first chance of the game wide from a Courtney Massay cross.
However, when Che To played him in with a fine through ball, Christie outpaced the defence to slot the first goal under James Gilbert in the Hertford net.
Five minutes later, the big striker raced clear again and lobbed the keeper to double the lead.
However, Hertford were given a lifeline when To handled to concede a penalty at the Railway End which Tommy Wade converted, sending Carl Tasker the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-1.
Ed Canham restored Berkhamsted’s two-goal cushion when he got his head to a cross mid-way through an exhilarating first half, with Gavin making sure the ball was over the line.
Frankie Jowle looked to be through to score but Gilbert just managed to tackle him as he shot.
Not to be denied, Berko scored two more goals just before the interval.
First, Christie flicked a cross to Ashley Morrissey and he beat two men in the penalty area before striking a fierce shot to make it 4-1 – meaning he has netted in his last three matches.
Christie then completed his second hat-trick against Hertford this season with another low shot to take his tally to 25 for the season.
Berko eased off in the second half and Lewis Donovan struck the bar for Hertford, before Alex Foster kicked off the line as the Comrades came under some pressure.
At the other end Jamie Gavin headed just wide from a Jowle cross, To hit the post with a long range shot from out wide, and Morrissey dribbled along the byline but Christie’s shot was deflected over the bar.
Things went from bad to worse for Hertford as Jason Beck was booked for shirt pulling and then got a straight red for swearing at the referee. Strangely the 10 men got a consolation goal when Tasker took his eye off the ball as he collected it at the feet of Charlie Evans and, when the ball ran loose, the forward had an easy route to walk the ball in to the net for 5-2.
George Lafarr made it 5-3 as Mick Vipond switched the Berko team around with some substitutions.
One of them, Pierce Kelly, struck the post for Berko when he looked like scoring his first senior goal.
Christie netted with the rebound but was given offside – one of a hat-trick of such disallowed efforts he had in the game.
Berko: Tasker; Massay, Foster, Gavin, Canham, Hawes (Kelly), Jowle, Farrelly (Osborne), Christie, To, Morrissey. Subs not used: Baldry & Barnes.
Lewis Rodrigoe, Adiel Mannion and Josh Chamberlain could be available on Saturday to bolstrer Vipond’s options as Berko hope to get a fourth win on the trot at home to Hadley.
Next Tuesday should produce a bumper crowd at Broadwater when Hemel Hempstead Town visit Berkhamsted for the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup, kick-off 7.45pm.
Josh Chamberlain will miss the game with a three-match suspension after his sending off in the win at Colney Heath. There is currently a three-division gap between the two sides, so Hemel start as strong favourites.
Meanwhile, Berkhamsted’s reserve side will be trying to reach their first cup final when they go to Sun Sports in the semi-final of the Herts Intermediate Cup on Saturday.