A show-stopping second-half display saw Horsham wrap up the Boxing Day points against Godalming Town as George Gaskin grabbed a late hat-trick and George Branford hit the goal of the season.
The Hornets led 2-1 at half-time thanks to goal from Charlie Farmer and Tom Lawley, before they ran riot after the break to win 8-1 and climb into the top half of the Ryman League South Division, condemning Godalming to the bottom of the table.
Debutant Gaskin came off the bench to score his second treble of the day having already notched three for Littlehampton in their morning SCFL Premier Division victory, before some brilliance from Branford.
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola said: “I think in the first half we played how we have most of the season; tentative and up and down. We said at half-time we weren’t quite sure why they’d played like that in lots of games, with almost a fear about us.
“We said to just play their football as they are all good players and have won lots. To be fair to them in the second half, they did just that and looked really good.
“I am not saying we have cracked it, but it was just nice to see the boys express themselves a bit and not play with pressure or look tense, it reminded me of the old days.”
Di Paola also credited Gaskin, but reserved special praise for Branford’s stunning goal labelling it as the best he has ever seen.
He added: “Fair play to George, he has had a great day, but you know me, I never really mind about who gets them.
“George’s was unbelievable though. It’s probably one of the best goals one of my teams has ever scored. A 40-yard pass was sent into Darren Boswell who took it in the air and picked out George, with it still not touching the ground, he chested it up and turned and somersaulted it in.
“It’s one of the best goals I have ever seen, not just the finish, but the build-up as well.”
The home side led on 19 minutes as Farmer’s glanced headed from a flicked-on corner found the back of the net and Lawley made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark with a curling effort.
Godalming pulled one back soon after as Matthew Males finished well underneath Josh Pelling despite looking in an offside position.
The Hornets extended their lead seven minutes into the second half as Metcalf cut in and finished past Brannon Daly, but injured himself in the process.
Substitute Boswell latched onto Lewis Hyde’s pass on 76 minutes to score the first of five goals in the final 14 minutes, poking past Daly.
The dual-signed Gaskin then came off the bench for his debut having already played for Golds in their 4-1 win over Worthing United and notched with his first touch from Tony Nwachukwu’s pass.
Seven minutes later he turned home another cross with his second touch and completed his treble on 90 minutes as he was picked out by Boswell.
There was still time for Branford to better Gaskin’s fine achievement as he chested a Boswell pass, flicked the ball over his head and turned and volleyed home a goal of the season contender.
Di Paola added: “I was pleased for the supporters as it has been a bit up and down, but I think we put in a performance they could enjoy.”
Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf (Harris), Jones, Sackman, Farmer, Hyde, Lawley, Kirkwood (Gaskin), Branford, Nwachukwu, Andrade (Boswell). Subs: Batchelor, Smith.