Despite being without the influential Will Hendry who is recovering from surgery, United still recorded a club record victory with a 6-1 demolition of Bromley at Church Road.
The afternoons proceedings commenced with a immaculately observed minutes silence in respect of former manager Roy Ruffell who sadly passed away on Thursday at the age of 69.
Once the game itself got underway it was less than ten minutes before the deadlock was broken. Bromley's Bobby Bowry was caught in possession just outside the centre circle by the ever improving James Mulley and the midfielder set off towards goals through a gaping hole, where the Lillywhites central defence should have been, and coolly slotted past Andy Walker (picture left) to give United the lead.
Just two minutes after going behind, the visitors strode forwards with purpose and Alessio De Angelis had to be at his sharpest to tip a 25 yard drive from Danny Hockton around the post. The 20th minute saw United create another good scoring chance as Ram Marwa chased a ball down on the right and crossed to Josh Scott who was just unable to keep his header below the crossbar.
As the game reached the half hour mark a chance came at each end, firstly a long punt forwards by the visitors saw Adam Thompson misjudge the bounce and Hockton managed to turn Nevin Saroya only for De Angelis to gather his shot comfortably. Almost immediately Scott flicked on to his strike partner Kieran Knight who was only prevented from getting a strike on goal by the frame of Jerrome Sobers as Walker collected.
These two chances were the preparation for a four minute goalfest that saw the ball hit the net no fewer than three times. First to strike were United, Scott and Knight combined out wide and when the cross came into the middle Liam Collins' initial effort was blocked, as was Mulley's follow up and then as Mulley tried to turn the ball in at the post Mark Corneille brought the youngster to the ground from behind and a penalty was awarded. Scott stepped up and fired past Walker despite his diving the right way (pictured left).
Almost immediately Bromley struck back, Nic McDonnell fired a fierce shot from just inside the area that De Angelis did well to push away, when the ball fell to McDonnell again his off target drive was turned home by Hockton who was lurking in the six yard box.
Rather than be concerned by their seeming misfortune, United went straight down the other end and put things right. Liam Collins played the ball forwards to Mulley, his cross was helped on by Knight to Scott who controlled and turned his marker before placing his shot wide of Walker's dive for his second.
The second half took a while to get into a rhythm and it was almost the hour mark when United really should have extended their lead. Sobers hit a weak back pass towards Walker that Knight was on to like a flash, sadly as he drew the keeper his shot although going past him also went agonisingly wide of the post.
The visitors despite holding the ball for periods created very little for their strike force of Hockton and McDonnell and the half was more than halfway through before De Angelis was worked. A left sided corner taken by Wayne Wilson was met by the head of Simon Glover but United's Italian stopper was equal to the effort, diving to save at the foot of his post.
Ten minutes later it was a three goal advantage for United and only Mr Knight will know whether it was a shot or a cross. Liam Collins picked up play on the left and fed the ball to Knight, his swinging effort was only just missed by the diving Marwa in the middle before beating Walker into the far corner of the Bromley net.
The final minute arrived and De Angelis held onto a volley from Sam Wood before United piled on the agony by netting twice in stoppage time. First to beat Walker was substitute Staforde Palmer who took advantage of Walker and Sobers leaving the ball to each other and nipped in to volley a Knight flick on perfectly over the keeper into the net. Minutes later Marwa got in on the act as he received a poor defensive clearance by Sobers, took a touch on his chest before striking a superb dipping volley over Walker from 25 yards to make it six for United.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.