Last Updated: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 18:54
Rickie Lambert scored a hat-trick as the npower Championship's leading marksman sent Southampton to the top of the table with a 3-0 win at Watford.
Lambert struck twice in the first half before sealing his treble with a second-half penalty, taking his tally to 19 league goals, as Saints extended their unbeaten run to six games.
West Ham started the day as leaders but their stalemate with Crystal Palace provided Nigel Adkins' side with the opportunity to leapfrog them and they took full advantage.
Watford handed a debut to Manchester United loanee Tomasz Kuszczak in goal but he was culpable for the opening goal, finding himself stranded as Lambert nodded in.
The keeper could do nothing with the second goal shortly afterwards as Lambert fired home from the edge of the box.
Carl Dickinson gave the striker a chance to wrap up his hat-trick when he fouled Tadanari Lee in the box and Lambert duly obliged by blasting in the penalty.
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