Melton Town propelled themselves into the United Counties League promotion places with a five-goal display at strugglers Huntingdon Town on Saturday.
The 5-2 win lifted Town up to third and cut the gap to pacesetters Long Buckby and Bugbrooke who were both involved in Northants county cup action.
A poor clearance presented Huntingdon with an early chance, but Sulima’s shot from 20 yards found the hands of Town skipper Rob Peet.
In a fast start, Melton then scored with their first shot on target.
Nathan Benjamin’s run into the box was well stopped by Darmenter, but the ball fell to Duncan who steadied himself before placing the ball into the top corner for his first Melton goal.
Jordan Lever sent a pass behind the defence which found Nathan Arnold clear on goal, but his low shot was saved by Snitaus.
Back at the other end Neves shot high and wide after sidestepping Sam Beaver before Duncan had a great chance to make it two, teed up well by Arnold, but Snitaus palmed away the young winger’s shot.
The match became scrappy with Melton’s dominant possession lacking a cutting edge, while the hosts struggled to string three passes together.
Minutes before the break Huntingdon went close to levelling when Darmenter beat the offside trap and rounded the oncoming Peet, but forced wide, his effort was cleared off the line by Beaver.
The hosts came out for the second half with renewed purpose as Peet had to finger-tip Sulima’s free-kick over the bar.
A move involving Sandy and Benjamin ended with Duncan clean through on goal, but again Snitaus made a great save, and when Douglas’ poor back-pass let Sandy in on goal, the keeper again came to Huntingdon’s rescue.
But Sandy didn’t have to wait long for his first Melton goal when a counter-attack on the hour left Duncan and Sandy two-on-one, ending with the Town substitute slotting low past Snitaus.
Town went 3-0 up midway through the half when Lever’s run down the right and low cross found Bucalossi who turned Fernandes and found the net.
Melton continued to improve their goal difference with 10 minutes to go when a poor clearance out of defence saw Sandy nick possession and plant the ball into the far corner.
But the hosts restored some pride with two goals in two minutes.
Anenou went clean through after beating the offside trap and slipped the ball under Peet before the unmarked Young found the top corner after a three-on-two.
But Melton weren’t finished as Harris found Arnold in the area and his low cross left Bucalossi a tap-in to make it five goals in five games for the young midfielder.
Not a classic match to begin the new year, but Melton did what they had to do against a Huntingdon side who looked better than their bottom-three position suggested and were let down by a lack of cutting edge.
Town move onto another game in hand on Tuesday at Raunds where they could give themselves little breathing room in the top four promotion spots.
Town: Peet, Beaver, Benjamin, Storey (Manship), Gilchrist, Fray, Lever (Harris), Bucalossi, Price (Sandy), Duncan, Arnold.