BOWERS & Pitsea recorded an eighth consecutive victory and restored their lead at the top of the Isthmian North standings to 11 points thanks to a 4-0 win over local rivals Basildon United.

David Knight grabbed a hat-trick to put Bowers in the ascendancy at the Len Salmon Stadium before Brad Warner – whose brother, Pete, skippered the visitors – completed the scoring.

The first meaningful chance of the game resulted in Bowers taking a 17th minute lead.

Warner burst down the wing before sending a dangerous cross into the Bees’ penalty area and Knight was on hand to neatly flick the ball home.

Warner came close to getting his name on the scoresheet as his free-kick, from 30 yards out, curled inches wide of the target.

The hosts felt they should have been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Knight was grounded by Nathan Okoye, but referee Ryan Whitaker waved away the appeals.

Knight was proving to be a handful for the Bees’ defence and latched onto a Lewis Manor flick only to fire over the crossbar moments after the break.

Daniel Cheema tested home goalkeeper Andy Wilton with a long range strike as the visitors looked to get back on level terms.

But Bowers should have doubled their advantage soon after the hour mark as Warner’s fine delivery found an unmarked Manor, but the club’s all-time leading goalscorer diverted his header onto the base of the post when well placed.

Bowers continued to search for another goal and Knight’s lofted pass found Warner, who skipped beyond two Basildon defenders before firing wide.

The hosts were awarded a 67th minute penalty when Quentin Monville’s marauding run was only brought to a halt by a reckless challenge from ex-Bowers winger Jeffrey Cobblah.

Knight stepped up and doubled his tally for the afternoon, with his spot-kick finding the bottom corner of the net despite Bees goalkeeper Dylan Skinner getting a hand to the strike.

The Isthmian North’s top goalscorer completed his hat-trick two minutes later, lashing home brilliantly after the Basildon defence had failed to cut out a long kick from Bowers goalkeeper Wilton.

Callum Leahy looked to add his name to the scoresheet and sent a close range header clattering into the woodwork after another deep cross from Warner.

Bowers, who won the reverse fixture 4-0 at the Ho Ho Stadium, were able to record the same scoreline as Warner cut inside late on and found the far corner of the net.

Bowers & Pitsea: Wilton, Sammons, Stephen, Stokes, Clark, Leahy (Dicks 83), Monville (Nyanja 79), Cornhill, Manor, Knight (Thomas 75), B. Warner

Basildon United: Skinner, Santos, Thompson, P. Warner (Blackburn 64), Brandon, Okoye, Cobblah (Brinklow 70), Norman, Taylor (Brown 84), Cheema, Fatt