DAN CARTER’s hat-trick ensured Studley FC returned to the top of Hellenic League Division One with a comfortable 4-0 win against Malmesbury Victoria.
Carter scored twice in the first half before later completing the scoring with Dale Edwards also on target at the Flying Monk Ground.
The result means Studley sit top of the table on goal difference ahead of a crunch clash with second place Worcester Raiders next weekend.
And the visitors almost took the lead inside five minutes when Josh Westwood shot just past the post before Vics’ goalkeeper Adam Clatworthy made two saves in quick succession.
The opening goal eventually arrived on 34 minutes when Edwards scored from 16-yards out before Studley’s second came just a minute later.
Studley keeper Bunn hit a long clearance which found Westwood who in turn crossed to Carter to score sublimely on the volley from 20-yards out.
And Carter had his second on 38 minutes when he headed home from Sean Brain’s cross to score Studley’s third goal in the space of four minutes.
The scoring and Carter’s treble was complete on 55 minutes when he produced a scrappy finish to ensure the visitors returned to winning ways in style.
Studley are next in action at home to Worcester Raiders on Saturday, February 12 with kick-off at 3pm at The Beehive.