LANCING Football Club secured a vital victory in their quest for Division 1 survival with a convincing win over already doomed local rivals Worthing United on Monday.
Lancers moved level on points with free-falling Selsey but out of the bottom three owing to their superior goal difference, thanks to a Jonno Melia hat-trick.
Lancing’s survival hopes are in their own hands and they will ensure Division 1 football for next season with victory over Shoreham on May 3.
The home side found a way through just before the half-hour mark as Jared Rance cut in from the left and his well-struck drive took a deflection off Dan Rahaman and flew into the top corner.
Shortly after half-time, Melia drilled home from a tight angle.
On 55 minutes, Jake Mills’ strike from distance was parried out by the stopper, but the ball rebounded to Melia who rifled in off the crossbar.
United got a goal back on the hour when substitute Nathan Bowen headed in a Oliver Perkins corner.
Chances came and went at both ends, before Melia completed his treble five minutes from time when he ran through and poked home a finish under the keeper.
Lancing manager Richard Whittington said: “I’m pleased with the win, it was a bit scrappy sometimes and they were difficult to break down but we played some nice football and always look a threat going forward.”
United head coach John Foley said: “It was so much better than Saturday, although that isn’t saying much, but we have a very young squad who never give up and always give me 100 per cent, which is all you can ask as a manager.”
Full report and reaction in this week’s paper.