LANCING Football Club moved back into the top three of County League Division 1 on Tuesday evening with a crushing 5-1 win over struggling Arundel.
Mullets had suffered a 7-1 thumping at home to Three Bridges on Saturday in the Sussex RUR Cup and again collapsed after a first-half goal blitz saw Lancers lead 4-0 at the interval.
Charlie Walker, who signed for Lancers on Monday afternoon from Shoreham, for whom he had netted 15 goals this season, hit a brace, Darren Boswell also struck a couple, and Scott Tipper scored at both ends in a one-sided encounter.
Lancers flew out of the traps and set the tone for the encounter as early as the second minute, when Boswell played in Walker, who shot narrowly wide.
Titus Paterson saw a low effort tipped away, and Jack Hayward was just off target in a positive start for Lancing.
This dominance was rewarded with a double salvo inside a minute as Mullets capitulated. Walker dinked the ball over the defence and played in Boswell, who finished neatly past James Fernandes on 20 minutes.
Then, with Arundel still re-organising, Hayward won the ball in midfield and picked out Walker, who was played clean through and fired confidently into the corner.
It soon became 3-0 when Titus Paterson cut inside and his cross-come-shot was diverted in at the far post by the predatory Walker for Lancers’ third goal in four minutes.
Graham Martin forced Fernandes into a smart stop as the home side kept the pressure on, and their perfect first half continued through Scott Tipper’s unfortunate own goal, when he turned in a Boswell cross, with Paterson lurking.
Shell-shocked Mullets did at least put up more of a fight after the break, and pulled a goal back on the hour after a brief rally. Steve Gettings had a header saved, his rebound was blocked by Danny Gainsford, but the prolific Tipper followed up to knock home his 27th goal of the season.
The free-scoring frontman then saw a strike from long-range pushed behind by Lancing keeper Tony Di Bernardo, and Gary Norgate’s header was also tipped away by the stopper.
Lancing had the final say, though, when Boswell completed the rout from 30 yards on 76 minutes.
Lancers joint manager Martin Gander said: “This was a great all-round team performance. Charlie’s quick, links up well and his movement off the ball is superb for a young lad, hopefully, he’ll be a great signing for us.
“Being 4-0 up at half-time, it’s difficult to get motivated and go again, but we did the job and we’re very pleased to be third at Christmas.”
LANCING: Di Bernardo; Hunt, Gainsford, Coles, O’Regan; Boswell, Hayward, McLoughlin, Martin; Paterson, Walker. Subs: Philpott (Coles 63), Sharman, Pullan (Hayward, McLoughlin 70), Banasco-Zaragoza.