Eastbourne Town manager John Lambert hailed their midweek performance against title rivals Horsham YMCA as their best attacking display of the season.
Town surged to the top of the table thanks to their six-goal blast against a stunned YMCAand underlined their Southern Combination Premier title credentials.
Striker Kenny Pogue was the chief tormentor as he rattled home a hat-trick. Jason Taylor fired a brace with Aaron Capon also on target.
Dave Brown and Anthony Hibbert scored for the visitors.
The result puts Town at the summit on 41 points from 16 matches played. Horsham and Lancing are two points behind in second and third while YMCA dropped back to fifth.
Town face another title challenger on Saturday at the Saffrons(3pm) as Lancing arrive looking to knock Lambert’s men from their lofty perch and potentially overtake Town at the top.
Tuesday’s result capped a fine week at the Saffrons as it followed last Saturday’s 2-1 win away at Broadbridge Heath thanks to goals from Dan Bowell and Capon.
Town boss Lambert said, “It’s great to see us at the top of the table but it does not really mean a lot at this stage. If we don’t follow it up with a win against Lancing (tomorrow) then Tuesday’s result counts for nothing.
“Having said that I was delighted with the performance against Horsham. It was probably our best attacking display of the season.
“For the first 30 minutes I thought we were excellent and they simply could not deal with our pace and movement. We played some good stuff and to do that against a direct rival is very pleasing indeed.
“Being ultra-critical, as I am, I was not happy with their two goals. We play a pressing game and that can be demanding for the players. Perhaps we slackened off a bit in those periods but overall I’m very happy indeed. But we have to keep it going.”
Town were also fighting at the top end of table this time last year. Postponements and the Christmas period disrupted their challenge and it is something Lambert is determined to avoid this time around.
He added, “We do not want a repeat of that. We suffered last year with postponements and it threw us a bit. We didn’t get back to our levels and fitness was not as good as it should have been.
“We are determined that will not happen this time. The fitness of the team is good, we had a good preseason and we have maintained that.
“Hopefully we can see it through this time. It won’t be easy, we are there to shot at. The players know it and hopefully we can deal with it.”
Tomorrow (Saturday) Town will be without attacking duo Pogue and Capon.
Eastbourne Town team v Horsham YMCA: Nessling, Foster, Bolwell, Darby, Rogers, Sherriff, Taylor, Crabb, Tate, Pogue, Capon. Subs: Paul, Willett, Cuddlington, Patton, Henson.