In simple terms, this was a must win game for Hassocks. So the fact that by the 15 minute mark the Robins had established a match winning 3-0 lead made the afternoon less tense for everyone around the Beacon.
By half time it was 5-0 and although the second half was less impressive from Hassocks, the final scoreline of 6-1 meant that they had won successive games in the league for the first time this season.
As good as Hassocks were, Selsey were a poor and struggling outfit having picked up just three draws in this campaign.
The writing was on the wall inside the first minute when Mark Price latched onto a Bradley Bant through ball to superbly lob Selsey keeper Kieran Gilbert and when the lead was doubled in the fourth minute - Phil Johnson tapping in from what looked like an offside position after good work from Ryan Collins and Tom Davess - it was going to be a long afternoon for the visitors.
The goal of the game came on 13 minutes with the excellent Price, Johnson and Nick Pitcher combining to give space to Bant on the edge of the box who exquisitely curled the ball in via the far post past a sprawling Gilbert.
Selsey then had a good spell as Hassocks took their foot off the gas and George Willett in the Robins goal made a smart save from Graham Morey.
On 44 minutes Johnson nabbed his second although he didn’t know much about it as Price’s effort rebounded off Gilbert and hit Hassocks’ top scorer before trickling over the line.
And the home side weren’t finished yet as in stoppage time a clever free kick from Price played in Ellis Common on the blind side, where the young defender finished with some aplomb.
In comparison, the second half didn’t live up to the expectation that Hassocks could markedly improve their goal difference although Gilbert was the busier of the two keepers saving well with his feet from Davess and then blocking substitute Nathan Miles’s shot.
Selsey pulled a goal back on 77 minutes, James Kilhams bundling home from a corner after it appeared that Willett had had the ball knocked out of his hands.
But it was Hassocks who had the final say when Johnson completed his first senior hat-trick from the penalty spot after Stewart Morey had upended Miles in the penalty area.
A vital win for Hassocks, especially as the teams around them, Shoreham, Hailsham and Lancing all unexpectedly beat teams in the top half of the table.
Hassocks: Willett; Common, Marsh, Wallis, Jacques; Price, Collins, Pitcher, Bant, Davess; Johnson.
Subs: Barnes (Common 60), Miles (Bant 64), Stokes (Pitcher 77), Wilkins, R Wickwar (unused).
Starman: Although Phil Johnson netted a hat-trick, the industrious and evergreen Mark Price was at the heart of everything good for Hassocks and deserves the award.