Horsham cruised to a 5-0 win against bottom of the table St Francis Rangers.
Hornets’ position in the league was helped by rivals Eastbourne Town losing to 1-0 to Arundel, which opened up a five=point lead.
Dom Di Paola’s side took a 2-0 lead through a penalty either side of half-time scored by Joe Shelley.
As Rangers offered almost nothing in reply, Horsham added three more in the last 22 minutes through Charlie Farmer, Evan Archibald and Terry Dodd.
A minute’s silence was immaculately observed before kick-off in tribute to former Horsham player Peter Wilkins who died this week.
St Francis Rangers’ new manager Joe Monks was overseeing his new team for the first time since taking over.
Horsham had the opening chances when Harry Smith took a shot from inside the area in the first minute which was easily saved by St Francis keeper Jake Rudwick.
Hornets forced Rudwick into action again minutes later following a free-kick by Joe Shelley which led to a ball in from the right by Alex Duncan and kept out through a diving save.
Hornets took the lead from the penalty spot, blasted into the top left of the net by Shelley after Rudwick had collided with Evan Archibald who had been put through by Dodd. Rudwick was shown a yellow card.
Horsham soon had chances to add to their lead as Dodd volleyed a delightful chip by Smith wide of the mark, then Archibald headed narrowly over.
Archibald was then fed with a cross from the leeft and had a go at an overhead kick which at least connected but rolled tamely to Rudwick.
Both sides made substitutions at half-time with Horsham replacing Alex Duncan with Brad Lewis and Rangers bringing on Chris Haskall for Ben Taylor.
Horsham made it 2-0 five minutes after the start of the second half from the penalty spot, again conficently put away to the keeper’s left by Shelley after Charlie Farmer was brought down in the area.
Hornets made another change as Kieron Pamment replaced Smith, while at the other end John Brazil came on for Edwin Sesay.
Shelley went close with a header from a Pamment corner which flew narrowly wide.
Another corner by Pamment found Farmer unmarked at the far post who chested in Hornets’ third goal from the six-yard box.
Horsham made their final substitution by bringing on Kevin Keehan for Adam Hunt.
Hornets increased their lead further with two more goals, the fourth was netted at close-range in the 77th minute by Archibald after good work in the area by Shelley.
Horsham raced to a 5-0 lead with seven minutes to go when Dodd made weasy work of nodding home yet another Pamment corner.
HORNETS: G Williams, Duncan (Lewis 46), Storrie, Hunt (Keehan 71), Knee, Farmer, Shelley, Archibald, Dodd, Smith (Pamment 56), Boswell
Unused subs: Atkinson, Jones
ST FRANCIS: Rudwick, Ocran, Sesay (Brazil 60), Harris, Williamson, Carolan, Taylor (Haskall 46), Alexis, Booker, Leon, Tepe (Whelan 80)
Unused subs: Newnham
REFEREE: David Philp
MAN OF THE MATCH: Evan Archibald
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