Aylesbury United’s top scorer Stacey Field scored his second hat-trick in three days as the Ducks saw off a dogged Berkhamsted team 3-2 in the Challenge Trophy on Tuesday night.
United made hard work of their win though, having twice lead the tie only to allow their hosts back into the match with equalisers soon afterwards.
Field’s opener arrived with 90 seconds played when he latched onto a spilled ball by Carl Tasker to fire home.
The lead only lasted until the 15 minute mark when Jordan Frederick curled home a great strike, and Berkhamsted went on to be the better side but it remained level at the break.
After the interval Field quickly re-established the advantage from the penalty spot after Austin was fouled, but again the Comrades levelled soon afterwards as a corner kick was turned in for an own goal.
Tony Joyce’s men were not to be denied, though, as his star striker claimed the matchball for the third time this season.
The Ducks play fellow Spartan South Midlands Premier League title contenders Oxhey Jets in the last 32 of the competition.
Meanwhile, Dunstable played one of the two games in hand they had over the Ducks on Tuesday night and won to displace United at the top of the league.
It has done little to discourage Joyce, though, who says now the Ducks are up near the top, they intend to stay the course.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s game, when United were top after a memorable 6-4 win over Hadley, Joyce said: “We are top now, which is great, obviously other teams have some games in hand but we’ve got the points and they have got to win those games. Some of them also have to play eachother so points will be dropped, we’ve just got to try and make sure we stay there now. It’s a nice position to be in,” he added.
Last week Joyce said his players had not been affected by talk of a possible return to Aylesbury. But he admitted after the Hadley game there had been some talk in the changing room which had given players a ‘nice boost’.
“Although we’ve only got four players that are actually from Aylesbury, because a lot of the guys live in Milton Keynes and around in other areas, there was some talk amongst the players about going back to Buckingham Road,” he said.
“And where it is positioned for me that would be ideal. It (speculation) certainly hasn’t damaged us, if anything it has been a nice boost.”
United entertain struggling Biggleswade on Saturday, a game Joyce says his side must be looking to get three points from if they want to go on and win the league.