North Greenford United produced what was undoubtedly their best all-round display of the season to earn a convincing 4-1 win against Epsom & Ewell at Berkeley Fields - a side who were undefeated and sitting on top of the Combined Counties Premier League with games in hand at start of play, writes Patrick Hillier.
Although a Jack Bennett hattrick, following on from a brilliant opening goal from Liam Bird, provided the headlines, it was the way in which each and every member of the United team played his part in a fine victory that was the game's most impressive feature.
Epsom arrived brimming with confidence, having notched up a seventh successive win in midweek with a victory over Wembley.
But the visitors soon found themselves on the back foot as, from the very first whistle, a spirited United took the game to their opponents.
With heavy driving rain persisting throughout, Greenford adapted quicker to the difficult conditions and were the better of the two teams in all departments.
United dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead on 35 minutes. The ball was played through to Bird, who had made a fine run into the left channel. He carried the ball into the Epsom box before executing a perfect left foot finish across keeper Paul Borg into the far corner.
On the stroke of half time, Andre DeLisser made the most of a defensive slip out on the right and unselfishly played a low cross to the unmarked Bennett, who took a touch before driving the ball past Borg for the first of his three goals, giving United a handy two goal cushion.
Two minutes into the second half, Epsom were back in the game when they were gifted a goal after United keeper Gary Jallow lost his footing and the ball, leaving striker Robbie Burns with the simplest of goal-scoring opportunities.
But far from heralding a sustained Epsom revival, this goal only served to spur United into greater effort and work rate and, apart from a lucky escape when the visitors came close to levelling the scores during a penalty area scramble, Jallow was never seriously tested.
As the half progressed, it was United who looked more likely to extend their lead. A loud appeal for a goal was turned down by referee Sam Hourigan when the ball appeared to have crossed the line following a United corner, but United were not to be denied as Bennett got on the end of a Sean Hillier cross soon after and Borg was unable to hold onto Bennett's header as it slipped through him into the net.
Bennett's hat-trick came with just seconds remaining. Following a fine interchange between DeLisser and substitute Josh Woods, the ball was played to Bennett who, again unmarked, produced another clinical finish.
North Greenford's next two games are both cup matches away from home.
This Saturday (1.30pm) they travel to Coulsdon for a League Cup game and on Tuesday (7.45pm), they face Ashford Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup.