Scott Neilson scored a hat-trick for Whitehawk as they thumped Margate for six at Hartsdown Park.
After their FA Cup heroics, the Hawks returned to winning ways in the league after a great second half display in tough conditions at the Kent coast.
Margate fought back twice to go into the break level, but Steve King’s side blew their hosts away with four second half goals – with Neilson scoring three of them – to see the Hawks move up to third.
In an eventful first half, the hosts started on the front foot – but it was the Hawks who broke the deadlock after just five minutes. Sam Deering’s free kick into the area was headed back across goal by Dean Leacock, and Arnaud Mendy was first to it to nod past Nikki Bull.
The Hawks then should have had a second when Jake Robinson played through Danny Mills, but one on one with Bull saw his effort well saved by the advancing keeper.
Robinson was then unlucky not too hit the target after cutting in well from the left, but only to fire just wide of the top far corner.
However, Margate then equalised with 21 minutes gone. Luke Moore picked out Kane Wills on the edge of the area, and the former Bognor playmaker finished well with a first time effort.
Solomon Taiwo then could have put Gate ahead, but failed to hit the target when one on one with Craig Ross.
And the hosts were made to pay for that miss as Whitehawk went back in front on the half hour mark. Mendy’s cross in was deflected, and ran all the way through to Jordan Rose at the far post who had a simple tap in.
Ross then kept the Hawks in front after smart save from a deflected Moore drive, before the hosts drew level for a second time before the break. Christian Jolley linked up well with Wills, with the striker getting a shot away – only to be denied by Ross. However, Freddie Ladapo was first to the loose ball, and slammed the ball into the empty net.
Whitehawk started on the front foot in the second half, as Deering forced Bull into a good save low to his left, before Steve King’s side went in front for a third time.
Robinson did well to send the ball in from the right, and after Mills missed the ball at the front post, the ball fell to Mendy. From point blank range, the midfielder couldn’t add to his earlier goal, but instead left it to Scott Neilson who finished emphatically.
And Neilson was at it again a matter of moments later. Deering did well to work his way into the area, and he cut the ball back to Neilson who found the far corner from no more than twelve yards.
Four soon became five as the Hawks turned the screw before the hour. Deering played in a corner from the left, which evaded everyone in the middle apart from Rose – who didn’t know much about it as the ball ricocheted off his shin and in from close range.
Neilson then went on to complete his hat-trick in style with seventeen minutes to go. Space opened up for the midfielder 25 yards out, and he proceeded to drill a great strike past Bull and into the top corner.
The Hawks continued to attack, as Nick Arnold whipped in a cross from the right which picked out Jake Robinson but his header glanced wide of the far post.
Margate’s second half woes were complete late on, as Wills burst through on goal but one on one, elected to pass to Christian Jolley, whose shot was deflected and then cleared by the Hawks defence.
Whitehawk should have had a seventh in added time, as Ngamvoulou somehow failed to hit the target from close range, but it didn’t dampen the Hawks’ afternoon on the Kent coast.
Photos by David Hunt