Hurst Green 6, Dalton United 0
On a bitterly cold day Hurst Green eased past Dalton United to start a series of potentially season-defining home fixtures.
With new signing Rick Coar on the bench, the villagers kicked off down the slope, and with Dalton employing two deep lines of defence there was little goalmouth action early on.
Dalton were looking comfortable until Walker struck with a deflected shot on 15 minutes.
But the home side were dealt a blow when leading marksman Alan Coar had to be replaced by brother Rick.
Dalton were sporadic in their attacking intentions but from one breakaway Bartlett made a superb last-ditch interception.
Dalton had their tails up early in the second half and after a couple of corners, from a superb headed knockdown, the striker blazed over. The Green responded on 55 minutes when Tipton’s superbly-delivered cross was expertly headed home by Rick Coar. Coar then broke clear on the right and unselfishly laid the ball across to strike partner Stead to make it 3-0.
Tipton got in on the act, again delivering a right wing corner onto the head of Stead who powered home, and and it was no surprise when a ball over the top was slammed home by Coar to make it 5-0.
There was just time for one more incident, as the United keeper was dismissed for an elbow on substitute Nolan, and Stead completed his hat trick from the spot.