IN THE absence of Marc Clark, step forward Nathan Davis.
After his hat-trick against Bradworthy last week, Clark was called up to the Appledore first team.
And Davis grabbed the chance to take his place, scoring three goals to fire Appledore up to eighth in the North Devon League premier division with a 5-1 win at Georgeham and Croyde.
A five-match unbeaten run has turned their season around after winning just one of the first nine fixtures.
Most of the work was done in the first half at Georgeham, where Davis put them ahead and Mike Jones made it 3-0 with two clinical finishes.
The Hammers responded positively after the break with Alex Marks bursting forward from midfield to pull one back.
But the pace of Davis proved too much and he got in behind twice more, completing his first hat-trick since stepping up from the Kingsley League.
Kevin Fishwick, the Appledore manager, said: "The lads were fantastic. They just seem to be growing in confidence all the time."
Georgeham are just two points off the bottom but manager Terry Brennan is optimistic their results will pick up soon.
"It's just not happening for us," he said. "The results don't equate to the effort the lads have been putting in."
Scott Maynard scored at both ends as Braunton moved up to fourth with a 5-2 win at Barnstaple AAC.
Playing for the first time since December 8, the visitors were rocked when Maynard's attempted clearance flew into his own net in the first minute.
But Scott's brother Ross equalised with a penalty and Tom White put Braunton 2-1 up from a pass by Dave Mason.
Despite making it 2-2 through Conor Heeney, the Ammies slipped to their sixth straight defeat after Maynard went forward to score at the right end.
A sweet strike from Sam Box increased the lead and Steve Burley broke clear to seal the win.
Goals from Ciaron Lishman and Nico Pfeiffer brought Chittlehampton back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 after Matt Beveridge and Jordan Alcock had put Ilfracombe Town in control.
Both teams had chances for a late winner with James Campbell firing just over for the visitors and Ilfracombe having a penalty appeal turned down.
A late fightback and a first win of the season has lifted spirits for Northam Lions.
Intermediate one's bottom team hit back from two down to win a relegation scrap with Sporting Barum 3-2 with three goals in a 15-minute purple patch.
Sporting went ahead when Richard Nott took advantage of a defensive mix-up and they seemed to be heading for an important win when Jon Madge added the second.
But John Van Emmenis pounced after a goalmouth scramble to start the revival midway through the second half.
Steve Ronald, the first-team goalkeeper, went on up front and grabbed the equaliser with his first touch.
And Ali Bright completed the comeback with five minutes to go, moving Northam within two points of Sporting at the foot of the table.
After a points deduction earlier this season, they have reached a positive points total for the first time.
Most of the squad have stepped up from the disbanded third team and their hopes of staying up will be tested again with a key game against fellow strugglers Torrington on Saturday.
Three goals in the last 25 minutes secured a 3-1 win for Northside Atlantic after Chris Hutchings had given High Bickington the lead.
The pressure finally told when Matt Cann grabbed the equaliser and Vinny Bott put the hosts in front ten minutes later.
A header from Neil Armstrong in injury time sealed the result.
Simon Beeby made amends for a penalty miss by giving Clovelly the lead in the second half but Toby Bennett got an equaliser for Braunton who remain in third place.
Buckland Brewer took advantage of some goalkeeping howlers to beat Woolsery 4-1 in intermediate two.
Arran Brooks scored twice and an own goal from Nick Symons put them 3-0 up at half time.
Woolsery responded with a penalty from Glenn Dealey and dominated the second half before a goal from Simon Adams made the game safe.