FC CLACTON striker Jordan Lartey says his on-song team are going into games expecting to win, rather than just hoping.

The Seasiders made it five straight league and cup victories after a 5-3 success against Whitton United, at the Austin Arena on Tuesday night.

It hoisted them up to eighth in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division and they are also going strong in the FA Vase, following Saturday's stunning 2-0 victory at Risborough Rangers.

Confidence is sky-high and Lartey had more reason than most to celebrate in midweek, having plundered a first-half hat-trick against the Suffolk side.

"It was a great performance from the team, especially in the first half," said the 28-year-old.

"We took our foot off the gas a bit and there are things to improve on but we've got to be happy with another three points from a 5-3 win.

"It's five in a row and we're trying to build a winning mentality.

"We're looking to win every game and we're going into each one expecting to win, not just hoping.

"That's key for us and hopefully that kind of attitude and confidence can help us go places.

"We're a tight-knit group with a great team spirit and that's so important.

"We can all play the game, otherwise we wouldn't be here, but hopefully that mentality - individually and collectively - can help take us to the next level."

Former Colchester United youngster Lartey was delighted with his treble - and is already setting his sights on a seasonal tally of 15 goals.

"Ironically, I didn't think I played that well but I have to give myself a bit of credit for being in the right places at the right times," said the former Stanway Rovers man, who has also played in the Northern League for Newcastle Benfield and Jarrow.

"It was a great feeling and my first hat-trick since I was about 14.

"I've never been an out-and-out goalscorer but (manager) Tom (Austin) told me he wanted me to play further forward this season. I knew that meant scoring more goals and I set myself a target of ten to 15.

"I've got six or seven now which is a decent tally but there's a long way to go and I can't rest on my laurels.

"I'm halfway there, in terms of my target, so, if I stay fit and injury-free, I'll be disappointed if I don't get to at least 15.

"I'm really enjoying it here and, of course, it helps when you're winning.

"It's a great feeling and long may it continue."

Austin sung the praises of his players after Tuesday's win.

"There were spells within the game when I really couldn't fault our performance," he said.

"We pressed high, played with intensity and made good decisions on the ball.

"We were brilliant and it wouldn't have flattered us if we'd gone it at half-time 6-1 ahead."

Clacton have another home match on Saturday, against Godmanchester Rovers (kick-off 3pm).

They then host Ipswich Wanderers in the League Challenge Cup on Tuesday.