THAMESMEAD were forced to make wholesale changes after many of their squad were taken ill following their midweek game at Gravesham Borough.
They arrived at the Jockey Stadium with just 12 players – including their 60-year-old Manager Lee Hill and 56-year-old Coach Owen Jones.
In a scrappy first half, Rustics broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when Chris Stoate sneaked in behind the defence and chipped the onrushing keeper with ease.
Whatever was said in the home dressing room during the interval certainly worked with the Rustics scoring three goals in the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Leading scorer Andy Constable made it 2-0 before Dan Mitchell and Stoate grabbed two in two minutes to make the game safe against a brave but tiring Thamesmead side.
Full-back Michael Tubb returned from a long injury lay-off when he came on as a substitute, and he helped create the best goal of the game after 69 minutes.
Following a superb passing move on the right, Ian Parsons made it 5-0 with a superb volley from just inside the area.
In the last minute, the veteran central defender Nick Coxon made it 6-0 when he headed home a Parsons corner from the right.
Rustics face a tricky visit to Lewisham Borough on Saturday before they welcome South East Counties Division One title favourites Glebe on Wednesday March 8 for what could be a title decider. Glebe currently trail five points behind in second place.