SHOREHAM Football Club joint manager Kevin Keehan hailed a five-star performance from his side as they secured a crucial win in this early season six-pointer on Saturday.
A Charlie Walker hat-trick, and goals from Dean Smith and Josh Clayman, all before half-time, helped Mussels to a comprehensive win over fellow strugglers Arundel.
Walker had netted three within 30 minutes of the clash and with the home side reduced to 10 men after Rory Biggs’ dismissal, there was no way back for Arundel.
The win lifted Shoreham out of the Division 1 relegation zone and they remained fourth-from-bottom on goal difference from Arundel, who bounced back from their defeat to Mussels with a 4-2 win at Worthing United on Tuesday evening.
Keehan praised his side’s display across the pitch and is hoping the result will prove a platform for the Middle Road side.
He said: “We set the tone and there was no doubt it was a big six-pointer.
“We prepared well and in recent weeks we have been playing a lot better, but maybe have not got the rub of the green.
“We had a game plan and now have the right squad. We have weeded out the deadwood and moaners and have a strong professional squad that want to win every week.
“It couldn’t have gone any better, five up at half-time and we hardly set a foot wrong. The defenders defended and were outstanding and the boys up top did the work.
“Everything Charlie touched turned to gold – while the main thing for us was keeping a clean sheet as well.
“We really needed it and, hopefully, that’ll spur the guys on now and we’ll be able to take our season on from it.”
Mussels opened the scoring after just 11 minutes when Josh Clayman picked up the ball on the left, cut on to his right foot and whipped the ball in for Walker to glance a header across goal and into the net.
Four minutes later it was 2-0, Walker brought down the ball on his chest 18 yards out and smashed home a half-volley.
The third came on the half-hour as Shoreham broke on the counter attack and Walker beat the last defender before curling home a low angled effort to grab his third.
Biggs then saw red with two lunging tackles in the space of a minute – the second of which earned him a straight red.
Shoreham then made the extra man count with two quick goals on 45 minutes.
First, Dean Smith’s perfectly-timed run form midfield saw him lose his man and nod home Gareth Green’s cross. And Green then again provided as Clayman nipped across his man to head home.
With the job virtually done at half-time, it was all fairly routine for Mussels after the break.
Dan Jordan went closest to extending the lead with a header from a set piece, before keeper Tony Wyatt pulled off two world-class saves late on to preserve the clean sheet.