Gary Charman hit a hat-trick as Horsham rediscovered their spark and eased into the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy this afternoon.
The Hornets comfortably overcame a sorry Sittingbourne 6-2 with an excellent performance in the preliminary round.
Goals from player-manager Charman, Lewis Hamilton, Tony Nwachukwu and Harry Smith saw the home side pocket £2,500 prize money and set up a home tie with Ware in the next round on Saturday, November 1.
Charman put the Hornets ahead with a well-placed free kick on eight minutes. The player-manager sent the set-piece into the bottom corner past a suspect-looking wall after Byron Napper was blocked off on the edge of the box.
The visitors should have levelled on 12 minutes as Brett Milham went through one on one, but bizarrely tried to tee up Ellie Kayemore, but got his pass horribly wrong and Gareth Williams managed to collect.
Charman almost added a second on 18 minutes, but he didn’t get enough on a teasing Jamie Ampleford delivery from a free kick on the right after Veejay Miller chopped down Nwachukwu, who was causing problems on the wing.
A fine last-ditch tackle from Tom Gilbert pinched the ball from Kayemoe as he bore down on goal on 21 minutes as the organised home side looked sharp at the back.
Two minutes later, Nwachukwu headed against the bar at the back post from an Ampleford corner after a good spell of Horsham pressure.
Sittingbourne failed to heed the warning and Horsham hit a second just before the half-hour mark.
Gilbert fired towards goal from a corner and Hamilton spun to volley the loose ball home past a helpless Adam Molloy.
Gilbert then stopped a Sittingbourne break straight from the restart with a great tackle to break up play.
Charman added a third on 38 minutes as Ampleford cut out a pass across the back four and calmly slotted in the Horsham player-manager, who stroked into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
Kayemore tried to spark the visitors into life just before the break as he drove into the box, but Hamilton cleared up his ball across the goalmouth.
At the other end, George Crimmen got his tackle in the box just right to disposes a driving Ampleford run.
In injury-time, Ross Morley blazed over after the ball fell to him after a corner and Nwachukwu fired just over after a good run and cross from Smith.
Horsham started where they left off in the second half as Molloy was alert to efforts from Smith and Charman.
Napper’s first-time cross saw Ampleford then tee up Morley on the edge of the box, but Molloy was down well to save.
Sittingbourne then pulled a goal back on 53 minutes as Milham latched onto a ball over the top and stroked past Gareth Williams.
On 61 minutes, Smith crossed for Nwachukwu who headed over after good work from Hamilton on the left.
Sittingbourne were reduced to ten men on 63 minutes as Molloy was shown a straight red card for foul and abusive language after shouting profanities at the linesman.
Unbelievably, Sittingbourne looked to have got themselves back into the game as substitute Hicham Akhazzan blasted home at the far post after a ball across the goalmouth.
Horsham, however, restored their two-goal advantage two minutes later as Charman raced away and latched onto a through ball to coolly slot past stand-in goalkeeper Matt Harden.
Nwachukwu hit a fifth a on 86 minutes as Charman put in a sublime cross-field pass to Nwachukwu, who drove into the area and blasted into the roof of the net.
Smith made it six two minutes from time as he raced away from his own half and excellent dinked over Harden into the net from the left.
Horsham: Williams, Frankland, Gilbert, Hills, Hamilton, Nwachukwu, Napper, Morley, Smith, Charman (Hawthorne 88), Ampleford (Legrange 83). Unused subs: Varley, King.
Sittingbourne: Molloy, Brunt, Harden, Crimmen, Richardson, Burrell (Akhazzan 66), Brown (Okoh 76), Milham, Miller, Kayemoe, Flemming (Gallagher 53). Unused subs: Ogbonna, Bell.