A first half Andre Costa hat-trick set United up for a straightforward win over their beleaguered hosts, Hemel Hempstead Town on a rainy evening at Vauxhall Road.
The Portuguese winger got his first on nine minutes when he ghosted in at the back post to convert Josh Andrew’s deflected cross on the half volley.
Aga Briandt almost doubled the lead minutes later but his shot from Ollie Fayed’s corner bobbled just wide.
Costa got his second on 21 minutes when he powered past his marker and showed great technique to lash the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Mohammed Dikuiza was sent clear by Ray Curtis soon afterwards, but had his shot saved by the home keeper who also denied Daniel Mehmet who tried his luck with a 20 yard volley.
It was 3-0 on 35 minutes when Costa completed his hat-trick, again tormenting the home side’s right back before firing the ball into the net. Before half time, United were inches away from a fourth when Josh Andrew beat the keeper to the ball and hooked it towards goal, only for it to be cleared just before it crossed the line.
Toby Little came on as a half time substitute for Jamie Lindsay and took only five minutes to get on the scoresheet. Costa cut the ball back to him and he floated the ball into the danger area. Although Dikuiza failed to get a touch, the ball curled inside the far post.
Dikuiza missed another opportunity to get on the scoresheet soon afterwards when he rolled the ball wide having raced clear of the defence.
He was soon to be rewarded however as Costa and Little again combined on the left and the latter drilled the ball across goal giving Dikuiza the simple task of tapping home.
Both Costa and Little were just off target with low shots and Nevin Saroya’s firm header from a Fayed corner was unfortunate to pick out the keeper as United continued to press. Just before the end, both Fayed and Mehmet tested the home keeper with long range shots, but the score was to remain at 5-0 to cement United’s position at the top of the Capital League Western Division.
Report by Nick Bell.
Website United Man of the Match: Andre Costa.