The positive impact of a returning striker and the spirit and togetherness in the Bovingdon camp were hailed by Lee Bircham after his players dusted off the rust to reach the quarter-finals of the Aubrey Cup with a 4-0 victory at Bengeo Trinity.

Having not played for the best part of a month, it took the Herts Senior County League leaders a while to get back into their stride on Saturday before goals from Ibrahim Lukulay, skipper Matt Standen, Courtney Massay and the returning Andrew Ofosu saw Bircham’s men comfortably through the second round tie.

The manager is delighted to have Ofosu back at Green Street from Hayes & Yeading United for a second spell and he explained: “He adds so much to us as a team. It might not be for long but he really seems to enjoy his football with us and fitted straight back in with the boys as if he hadn’t been away.

“[We’re] only half way through [the season] but the team is really on a high at the moment and it showed as we had five subs plus three of the first-team squad watching for a 1.30pm kick-off the other side of Hertford.

“Competition for places is high and that’s a nice problem for me to juggle about, but that sort of team spirit doesn’t come overnight. It’s an old cliché but it’s a squad game and if – and it’s a big if – we can keep this squad all happy then we should have a really good season.”

It took Bovingdon some time to find their feet on a poor playing surface, but the breakthrough arrived four minutes before the interval when Lukulay fired into the top corner.

The lead was quickly doubled before half-time as Ofosu played in an inch-perfect cross for Standen to stoop low and head home.

Bovingdon continued to turn the screw in the second half and had the tie wrapped up with half-an-hour remaining after Massay and Ofosu added goals three and four.

Evergreen will not be joined by Evergreen in the last eight though, after Hamze Ali’s goal was little more than a consolation in a 4-1 defeat at Knebworth.

Belstone encountered few problems at Premier Division basement side Buntingford Town as they eased to a 5-0 victory in the league.

Danny Johnson led the way with a brace and Ross O’Flynn, Michael Williams and Darren Turner were also on target for the fourth-placed side, who have games in hand on all three clubs above them.

Bushey Sports Club were beaten 3-1 at Standon and Puckeridge, while goals from Matt Evans and Harry Misselbrook were not enough to save Chipperfield Corinthians from a 6-2 drubbing at home to FC Lemsford.