ALDERSHOT Town finally turned on the style in front of manager Terry Brown with namesake Stafford Browne once again paving the way for victory.
Browne notched a brace in two second half minutes - the first an absolute gem - as the Shots raced to a comfortable and rather impressive away victory at Clarence Park.
This was a game which would have brought a lot of personal pleasure to boss Brown after several of his ‘experiments' and ‘tactical switches' came up trumps.
Mark Watson - scorer of the opener after just eight minutes - had a storming game in a rare start up front, while Lee Protheroe eased his boss' worries of bringing in a right winger, tantalising St Albans with a series of dangerous crosses from the flank.
Paul Harford enjoyed a strong game in the centre on his return from injury, while John Nutter all but stated his intentions of a future at the club with a lively performance at left back.
All in all, it was a satisfactory night's work. Brown said: "I was very pleased with the result obviously, I didn't think it flattered us, it fact it could have been five or six in the end.
"We missed numerous chances and coupled with a few strange refereeing decisions at times, I thought it was an enjoyable game to relax and watch.
"I've rested three players today who played very well on Saturday and the other boys have come in and showed that they can perform well. It was my first chance to see Paul [Harford] and although he is strong and excellent on the ball, I think he might drive me mad at times with his antics.
"Stafford [Browne] had a very poor first half but I was very pleased with him in the second. I had a little chat with him and instead of letting his head go down, he came out and showed what he is capable of. His first goal was magnificent."
With the likes of Grant Payne, Jason Chewins, Lee Holsgrove and Richard Gell watching from the stands, this visit to an in-form top half of the table side, was never easy.
But, in truth, they made it look easy with their most competent league performance under Brown so far.
Shame really then that so many of the Shots faithful stayed away and missed the fun. They were unusually out-numbered by the support of their hosts, while those who did show up, were joined behind the goal by a clutch of Wycombe Wanderers supporters, there to cheer on their former hero Dave Carroll, who had also been rested to the bench.
Brown's tactics paid off from the start and within eight minutes they had taken the lead.
Good strong hold-up play and a fine ball wide by Watson released Protheroe down the right.
He beat his man and crossed low to the near post and Watson was there again to tuck the ball home into an empty net after Saints keeper Richard Wilmott had kept out his initial effort.
The Shots continued to press and might have taken a four-goal lead going into the break, while limiting their hosts to very little joy at the other end.
Leon Townley volleyed just wide from Protheroe's corner, while Browne twice went close, first shooting against the legs of Wilmott, then firing high from close range when he really should have scored.
Carroll's introduction from the bench in place of makeshift right back Ryan Kirby, seemed to give the Shots added impetus at the start of the second, while Protheroe was given freedom to bomb forward from right back.
Owen Coll really should have made it 2-0 with a free header from another Protheroe set-piece, but the Shots didn't have to wait long to double their advantage - and it was that man Browne on target again.
Harford floated a fine through ball over the top for Browne to chase and in one swift movement, chested down in front of his two markers and lobbed Wilmott from 25 yards.
Now in full flow, the Shots surged forward with the intention of killing off their hosts - a feat which took them a little under two minutes.
Watson, latching onto Carroll's looping pass, made a menace of himself on the edge of the box, forcing Ryan Moran to stick out a boot to stop him in his tracks.
Referee Gagen showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Browne smashed home his 21st league goal of the campaign from the spot.
The battered home side hit back only to be denied a ‘goal' by Mr Gagen - Gary Ansell's diving header from Younes Nabil's free kick pulled back for being taken too quickly.
The Shots almost punished them with Townley producing a fine reaction save from Wilmott and Moran flicking a header onto his own post from another Protheroe centre.
This was a morale-boosting victory for the Shots, now looking forward to making a first league trip to Kingstonian on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The K's, held to a draw by Sutton on Tuesday night, are rubbing their hands at the prospect of this one as a big ‘derby' crowd is expected for this attractive fixture, one which shone out like a beacon at the start of the season.
Brown has stated he will continue to juggle the side around in a bid to work towards next season, so that should mean another start for the likes of Nutter, Harford and Watson among others eager to be in his plans.
SAINTS: Wilmot; Honeyball, Cook, Moran, Holding (sub Nabil 45mins), Evans, Kean, Ansell (Baxter 69), Martin, Wraight, Smith. Not used: Dignam.
SHOTS: Howells; Kirby (sub Carroll 45mins), Nutter, Coll, Townley, Parker, Protheroe, Harford (Bentley 81), Browne (Forrester 66), Watson, Allen.
Ref: Simon Gagen. Att: 421.
A second half hat-trick from German youth international Sebastian Kneissl helped a youthful Chelsea reserves overturn a goal deficit against Charlton Athletic on Monday night at the Rec.
The Addicks took the lead through Dave Collis but the Blues hit back famously to record a 3-1 victory with Kneissl certainly catching the eye.
Chelsea had veteran defender Ken Monkou playing for the first time in two years after he was recalled to help coach the reserves by Mick McGiven.
CHELSEA: Pidgeley; Kitamirike, Di Cesare, Monkou (Watt), Cousins, Ross, Nicolas, Wolleaston, Oliveira (Pulman), Kneissl, Aleksidze.
CHARLTON: Ilic; Robson, Lewis, Ricketts, Youds, Turner (Sam), Collis, McCafferty, Lisbie (Cerroni), Debolla, Martin. Not used: George, Delo, Long.
Chelsea are back in action at the Rec on Monday when they entertain high-flying Ipswich Town (ko 7pm).