After suffering defeat at Hastings United last time out, the Legends came roaring back with three goals either side of half-time in front of another large crowd in Kent.
Former midfielder Howells linked up well with skipper Mark Falco to conjure up an eye-catching opener and from there it was an efficient performance, with Glen Southam weighing in with a hat-trick and substitute Trevor Wilkinson bagging a brace.
There was a big boost before the game when Howells’ younger brother Gareth, the Legends’ regular goalkeeper, was passed fit to return to the side after a recent operation and he swiftly underlined his importance to the team with some brave stops throughout the 90 minutes. Clive Wilson also played an important part on his return to the side, transitioning defence to attack.
Above: Defender Brian Statham controls on his chest.
The opener arrived after 15 minutes when Howells ran from deep, deftly exchanged passes with Falco on the edge of the box and nudged the ball beyond the last defender before firing into the bottom corner.
Southam netted twice in four minutes just after the mid-way point of the first half but the hosts pulled one back on 36 minutes when Chris Boxshall converted from six yards after centre-half Stuart Nethercott had blocked an initial close-range header.
Nethercott then ventured forward and flicked on Howells’ cross to Falco, who hit the near post from a tight angle on the left.
Falco’s through ball allowed substitute Wilkinson to make it 4-1 on 66 minutes and he doubled his tally two minutes later. Howells was later denied by the keeper, who dived to save at his feet, before Southam slotted home in the 90th minute to complete his treble.