Tom Bradbrook scored his first hat-trick for Leatherhead on Wednesday night as they ripped apart the Ryman Division One South whipping boys Eastbourne Town 5-0 at Fetcham Grove.
Town had keeper Callum Christie to thank for restricting Leatherhead’s goal tally, pulling off some remarkable saves to spare the visitors from further punishment.
Tanners attacked Eastbourne at will from start to finish and grabbed an early lead after nine minutes.
Kev Terry was not closed down on the left before squaring a pass for Bradbrook, who fired home from the edge of the box.
Christie denied Paul Semakula from a similar build-up after 29 minutes, but Tanners doubled their lead from the penalty spot four minutes later.
Town captain Steve Elliott handled a goal-bound shot on the edge of the six-yard box, but he was only shown a yellow card following a lengthy consultation between the referee and his assistant.
But more severe punishment was dished out when Tanners captain Darren Smith stepped up to firmly drill the spot-kick past Christie.
Eastbourne’s defence visibly wilted in the encroaching Fetcham Grove gloom, as Leatherhead pressed forward in search of a third goal.
Christie kept out two more shots from Bradbrook and a terrific 30-yard pile-driver from Ian Draycott, but the Eastbourne keeper was unable to stop the dynamic duo combining for Tanners’ third goal after 42 minutes.
Christie blocked a stinging shot from Draycott, but Bradbrook was well placed for the follow up from close range.
In the second half, Bradbrook was denied by further fine saves from Christie.
But Tanners poured men into the visitors’ area to add a fourth goal after 65 minutes.
Eastbourne failed to clear the ball away from their six yard box and Ryan Cooper stabbed it home from close range.
Substitute Mohamed Eisa had a goal bound shot blocked by Christie before Bradbrook completed his hat-trick with Leatherhead’s fifth goal on 79 minutes.
The tall Tanners striker broke clear of his marker before drilling the ball into the corner of the net.
Town barely managed a shot on target throughout the match, but they were unlucky not to score a consolation goal in the dying minutes when a wide angled shot came back off Leatherhead’s goalpost.
Tanners will be looking for a repeat performance on Saturday when fourth-placed Folkestone Invicta visit Fetcham Grove.
Leatherhead: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Cooper, Dan Johnson, Paul Semakula (Tom Parkinson 53), Jamie Coyle, Jerry Nnamani, Theo Fairweather-Johnson (Mohamed Eisa 60), Darren Smith, Tom Bradbrook, Ian Draycott, Kevin Terry (David Canning 75).
Unused sub: Liam Pestle.