Jack Sanderson bagged a hat-trick as New Plymouth Rangers overwhelmed Hokowhitu Rangers 5-1 in their Western premiership football clash at Merrilands Domain on Saturday.
The English import scored from the penalty spot and added a second before half time.
His third, the only goal in the second half, came from a superbly struck free kick.
The win left the home side six points clear at the top of the league table with five games to play.
On form, this was a battle between the only two teams in the competition who have looked capable of winning it.
One of biggest crowds of the season turned out for the clash and were given an early indication of the visitors’ skills when Aaron Toki finished off a move marked by one-touch football after four minutes.
Hokowhitu felt aggrieved to have a second goal disallowed soon after, and there was some sympathy for their case in the stands.
The balance of power soon switched as the home side began to dominate a physical match and after Sanderson’s two goals there was a third and fourth from Abdul Ibrahim and Vance Hoskin.
The second half was one-way traffic, bar a couple of attacks from the visitors.
However, the sole goal of the half came from a free kick, which Sanderson struck sweetly into the top left corner.
Taranaki Daily News