LANCING Football Club ensured festive cheer with a five-star showing against free-falling East Preston in County League Division 1 on Saturday.
Despite taking an early lead, out-of-form EP’s winless run stretched to five games as the hosts eventually emerged comfortable victors.
Lancing fell behind after just 12 minutes when Sean Loft met Shaun Charles’s inswinging free kick and the centre-back got to the ball ahead of keeper Darren Ford to loop in a header from close range.
Lewis Finney and Alex Fair both shot narrowly wide but Lancers were not to be denied for long and levelled the game just before the half-hour mark.
Alex Fair received the ball on the right and crossed for man-of-the-match Mike Williamson, who capped a superb team move with a volley into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Finney fired into the side netting and Naim Rouane also went close as Lancers could count themselves unlucky not to go in to half-time ahead.
They would have done, too, had it not been for the smart reactions of visiting keeper Rui Buckland, who denied first Liam Hendy and then tipped behind Rouane’s first-time effort from Finney’s pull back.
After half-time, Lancing carried on where they had left off and had soon raced to a 3-1 advantage. Finney got the goal his performance deserved after being set up by Williamson, who then added his second and Lancing’s third two minutes later.
He dispossesed Loft and ran through two half-hearted challenges before he clinically despatched his shot past the helpless Buckland.
EP’s Charles had a free kick saved but Lancers were not finished there and eased further ahead with another quickfire double on the hour mark.
Fair capitalised on a loose ball in the box and lashed in from close range and he then made it 5-1 on 62 minutes when he tapped home a cross from substitute Craig Knowles.
Ross Adams headed over and Hendy, who has never scored for Lancing, almost broke his duck when his clever lob cannoned back off the bar late on.
Lancing manager Richard Whittington was pleased with the victory and said: “We went behind early on yet again and were thinking ‘here we go again’, but the character we showed was fantastic.
“It was a superb all-round team performance, we were clinical and scored some great team goals.”
Lancers travel to Loxwood on Saturday.
LANCING: Ford; Mills, Spinks, Phillips, Fenton; Hendy, Rouane; Williamson, Turner, Finney; Fair. Subs: Knowles (Turner 62), Davis (Finney 74), Adams (Rouane 80), Goatcher, Fidler.