Nicky Cadden scored a hat-trick as Forest Green saw off Crawley in a nine-goal thriller at The Fully Charged New Lawn.

Matty Stevens, Jamille Matt and Jake Young were also on the scoresheet for Rovers in the 6-3 win, with Crawley responding through two Jake Hessenthaler equalisers and Kwesi Appiah’s late effort.

Rovers have now won all five of their matches this season, including four in League Two to open up a two-point lead at the summit.

Cadden’s deflected goal after 50 seconds got the hosts off to a flyer but Hessenthaler restored parity after 15 minutes, converting from a deft Tyler Frost flick.

Rovers regained the lead in the 24th minute, Stevens lifting the ball over Glenn Morris for his fifth goal in four games after Matt fashioned the chance, but Crawley hit back soon after to level again.

Hessenthaler was once more the goalscorer, fizzing the ball through Luke McGee to bring a breathless first-half all-square.

However, Forest Green ran away with the game in the second half as they scored four more times before Appiah responded for the visitors.

Matt nosed Rovers ahead in the 48th minute after Kane Wilson’s trickery. Cadden then made it 4-2 after 67 minutes as he fired in from a Regan Hendry cross before helping himself to his hat-trick a minute later thanks to a Matt assist.

Rovers substitute Young grabbed the sixth with 12 minutes left on the clock before Crawley’s Appiah bagged scant consolation with four minutes to go.

Boss Rob Edwards hailed his side’s performance as “electric”.

“We’ve entertained – very good start and I was pleased with it. We scored too soon and sat back and they got a bit of momentum.

“We were electric, to score six goals and post four straight wins and the lads certainly did well to score four goals in the second half was pleasing.

“The strikers are scoring goals and our left wing-back today got a hat-trick.

“We look a threat going forward and try to play to the players’ strength and I’m really pleased with the whole squad and even the lads who didn’t play.”