DIVISION ONE SOUTH AND WEST: Uxbridge 5 Truro City 2
Four days after ending second-placed Didcot Town's unbeaten away record with a 3-2 win Uxbridge obliterated an even more impressive undefeated run as league leaders Truro City were put to the sword at Honeycroft.
Pre-season title favourites Truro arrived in formidable form having won 4-1 at Cinderford in midweek just seven days after thumping Andover 9-1, yet on Saturday Uxbridge simultaneously showed just what they are capable of and underlined just how poor their start to the season was.
Mark Nicholls gave the Reds a priceless 17th minute lead against the run of play and they were hanging on at half-time only to stun the Cornishmen with two goals in 60 seconds immediately after the interval.
As Truro chased the game and it opened up it merely allowed the imperious Nicholls to display his full array of skills as Uxbridge struck twice more to keep the visitors at arm's length and sound a warning to the top five that the Reds army is well and truly on the march.
Truro were on top early on and only Paul McCarthy's fingertips as well as a series of interventions from Mark Dennison, Ryan Wharton and Dave Thomas prevented them taking the lead.
Instead, a Nicholls corner was cleared to Thomas who slid a pass back to Nicholls who was left in the clear by Wharton's dummy and as the Uxbridge skipper bore down on goal City keeper Martin Rice sold himself early and Nicholls lifted the ball over him.
The goal settled the hosts who at last began to find a bit of possession although towards the end of the half they struggled to hold on to the ball up front and the pressure they found themselves under was summed up by desperate challenges from Gavin Brown and Neil Davies, who were among six Reds booked. Truro had their chances too and Matt Hockley and Joe Broad should both have scored but their free headers inside six yards were weak.
How Uxbridge made them pay. McCarthy's quick throw out gave Nicholls time to turn, delay his cross-field ball perfectly to find Dave
Lawrence scampering down the right and although his whipped, first time cross looked to have been wasted as it cleared Lee Tunnell, Dave Warner arrived at the back post to crown a sweeping move.
Within a minute the Reds again built from the back, Thomas finding Nicholls and this time he slid a more direct ball between defenders, Tunnell needed only one touch to get it out of his feet and leave defenders trailing before clipping it over Rice who again sold himself far too easily. Marcus Martin should have pulled one back moments later but yet another close range header merely gave McCarthy catching practice and as the visitors piled forward in desperation Uxbridge, and Nicholls in particular, began to toy with them like a cat with a cornered mouse.
Nicholls' fine disguised pass allowed Dave Warner a first time shot and the ex-Chelsea man's pull back found Tun-nell in acres of space with arguably too much time to think and Martin blocked.
Tunnell kept his head to get hold of the loose ball and find Johnnie Dyer who should have netted seconds after coming off the bench but he scuffed horribly wide. Suddenly it seemed too easy and when Uxbridge wasted several chances to clear an attack Martin headed in from almost on the line to convert a chance that even he could not miss, even on Saturday's form.
Uxbridge needed to close down what had developed into an incredibly open contest and Tony Choules sent on Danny Tilbury for his debut after signing from AFC Hayes, only for Truro to hand their hosts a fourth goal.
City left-back Graeme Power tried to find his keeper under pressure from Dyer but had not reckoned on Nicholls sprinting 30 yards to nip in and stab the ball between Rice's legs.
If there had been any remaining doubts over the outcome there were none anymore and three minutes from time Nicholls intercepted a ball out of defence, Tilbury and Dyer mis-kicked but Lawrence arrived to drill a fifth goal past Rice.
Dennison needlessly hauled down Ian Stonebridge to hand the same man a late consolation from the penalty spot but that failed to take any gloss off a glittering Uxbridge performance.
UXBRIDGE: McCarthy, Brown, Thomas, Wharton, Dennison, Davies, Lawrence, K Warner, Tunnell (Tilbury 71), Nicholls (Carter 87), D Warner (Dyer 63). Subs not used: Dickens, Reynolds.
Goals, Uxbridge: Nicholls 17, 79; D Warner 47; Tunnell 48; Lawrence 87. Truro: Martin 68; Stonebridge 90+1. Attendance: 172.