A SCINTILLATING first half display helped Elton Vale demolish third-placed Breightmet United 6-0 on Saturday.

With five goals in the opening period, including a hat-trick from Gary Gardiner, the Manchester League Division One high fliers were put to the sword at Moss Park.

Fifth-placed Vale were ahead in the first minute when Gardiner picked up possession on the far touchline, beat a defender and lashed the ball into the roof of the net from the tightest of angles.

He doubled the advantage five minutes later and the in-form Steve Simms scored an overhead kick – his second in as many games – as Breightmet struggled to cope with Vale's superior movement and passing.

Gardiner bagged himself a first-half hat-trick when he drove home a spot kick before Chris Baynes lofted the ball over the keeper from 25-yards to make it five on 30 minutes.

Vale continued to play quick, exciting football in the second period with Breightmet's frustration often resulting in a physical approach and ill-discipline.

Tom Pickersgill and Shaun Carey stood firm in the centre of defence for Vale and continued to create chances for the forwards. But it was individual skill from Stu Mercer which led to Vale's sixth and final goal of the afternoon.

A fabulous mazy run saw him go past several opposition tackles before a clumsy challenge resulted in a penalty. Gardiner confidently despatched the spot kick to bring his tally to four.

The reserves also won 4-2 at home to Springhead with a brace from Newton and further goals from Williamson and Edgington.