Temi Babalola enjoyed a dream debut as Potters Bar Town moved into the next round of the FA Trophy with a fantastic victory over Berkhamsted.

The former Concord Rangers and Cheshunt striker scored a first-half hat-trick as the Scholars turned round 3-1 in front.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Valckx Fernandes scored Potters Bar's fourth against Berkhamsted. Picture: LINDA BABAIEValckx Fernandes scored Potters Bar's fourth against Berkhamsted. Picture: LINDA BABAIE (Image: Linda Babaie)

Valckx Fernandes completed a perfect Friday evening at the Lantern Stadium as they closed out a 4-1 success.

Babalola's treble came after Berko had taken a third-minute lead, with the last two coming in stoppage time at the end of the half.

That was a crucial moment in the contest according to manager Max Mitchell.

The boss said: "Temi has come in, on his debut, and scored three and he could potentially have had four.

"But he gave us a different dynamic.

"It took us 15 minutes to get into the game and we found ourselves 1-0 down.

"But the reaction after that was excellent from all the players.

"We established much more control than we have done in previous games and we recognised when to use the overload and we started to pass the football.

"That allowed us to push further up the pitch."

Babalola was one of a number of players making their debuts for the club, part of the reason for the slow start pondered Mitchell.

Striker Oreofe Bello came in from Dover Athletic, goalkeeper Laurence Shala and midfielder David Hicks both joined on loan from League One clubs, Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage respectively, while Taofiq Olomowewe made his spell on loan from Welling United a permanent one.

The boss now believes his squad looks much better as they continue to try and pull away from the bottom of the Isthmian League Premier Division, a position they found themselves in after six straight defeats from the start of the season.

Mitchell said: "We have made changes to the group but we feel the balance is a lot better now and we still have two or three players to come back into the squad.

"The chemistry is building.

"We were very much connected and our shape, our ball circulation and our effectiveness to get into the final third was very good

"This is a new group and we feel we have to give players ample opportunity to improve and progress.

"There was a little bit more hunger in us tonight with lads making their senior debuts.

"Laurence was excellent after the first goal, David Hicks gave us a lot of composure and ran Temi close to being man of the match.

"The balance of the side fills me with a lot of encouragement."

And he believes the victory could be the starting point for a brighter future.

He said: "These types of evenings are so important for the club. A few of our academy boys were here and we are so glad we have been successful in tonight's objectives.

"Fans and volunteers do a lot of work behind the scenes that are have no reward to a degree so it is night's like this that can reward them.

"These cup competitions allow you to gain a lot of momentum in your league campaign and that's now seven unbeaten in all competitions.

"It's something for us to look at and continue in that vein of form."