WORTHING UNITED Football Club returned to winning ways on Saturday with an emphatic victory away to Rustington.
After losing at home to Mile Oak the previous week, the County League Division 2 leaders bounced back by hitting seven without reply to move six points clear of second-placed Wick & Barnham.
United could have gone ahead inside a minute but Wayne Joseph missed a one-on-one opening.
The Mavericks did take the lead on 13 minutes when Sam Blundell netted the rebound after his first shot was saved by Blues keeper Gareth Challen.
United then struck three times in the final 12 minutes of the first half to lead 4-0 at the break. James Wotherspoon headed home a Joseph corner to make it 2-0 on 33 minutes, before Dave MacNeill headed home Wotherspoon’s corner for the third two minutes before half-time.
Scott Hunt lobbed the ball home from 25 yards just two minutes later to make the score 4-0 at half-time.
United continued to dominate the second half and Blundell struck his second – and 21st goal of the season – when he got through one-on-one on 70 minutes.
Jacob Schilt netted the rebound after Wotherspoon’s shot hit the bar on 75 minutes, before Aaron Hasan rounded Challen to tap home and complete the scoring seven minutes from time.
United boss Nigel Geary said: “It was an excellent win and great to increase our goal difference as well because Wick had caught up with us.
“Wick have always had games in hand on us and still have two games in hand, which, if they win, they move level with us, so it’s a seven-game shoot-out for us now.
“We need three more wins to guarantee promotion and, if we do that, it will be a good season and anything else would be a bonus.
“That’s the main target, although obviously with the position we are in, it would be disappointing not to win the league now but Wick will probably be saying the same thing, with the season they’ve had.”
United travel to Saltdean in a replay of their Division 2 Cup quarter-final on Saturday. Saltdean beat United 2-0 last month but fielded an ineligible player, so the County League have ordered the game to be replayed.
UNITED: Grimstone; Hall, Philpott, Hasan, Taylor; Hayward, Edwards, Schilt; Joseph, Blundell, Wotherspoon. Subs: MacNeill (Hayward 20), Hunt (Joseph 30), Stideford (Philpott 75), Evans, Elliott.