Ashington hammer promotion hopefuls Hebburn Town

Connor Thomson scored a hat-trick against Hebburn Town. Picture: Ian BrodieConnor Thomson scored a hat-trick against Hebburn Town. Picture: Ian Brodie
Connor Thomson scored a hat-trick against Hebburn Town. Picture: Ian Brodie
Connor Thomson scored a hat-trick which brought Ashington some festive cheer with a comprehensive 4-0 thumping over promotion chasing Hebburn Town at Woodhorn Lane on Boxing Day, following their thrilling 3-3 draw at Brighouse on Saturday.

Paul Van-Zandvliet’s last ditch equaliser at Brighouse on Saturday had stopped the Colliers from tumbling to a fourth consecutive defeat and gave them a confidence boost.

And from the first whistle against The Hornets on Tuesday – who were second top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League’s East Division before the start of play – Ian Skinner’s side tore their visitors to shreds with a powerful and dominant performance.

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It all started as early as the eighth minute when Kneeshaw gave the hosts the lead. Craig Spooner and Oli Thompson worked a short corner on the right and when the latter crossed to the back post, Nathan Buddle headed into the middle for Kneeshaw to fire the ball into the roof of the net.

Minutes later, Joe Walton found Dean Briggs whose shot was saved by the legs of keeper Karl Dryden at his near post.

In the 18th minute, Ashington added a glorious second with Thomson on the mark for the first of his trio.

Buddle found Dan Maguire, who slipped a pass through for Thomson. The striker clipped the ball around the centre half which put him through one-on-one and his finish was emphatic as he side-footed under the body of advancing keeper Shaun Newbrook from nine yards.

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Then, just past the midway point in the half, Hebburn were reduced to 10 men when former Collier Briggs saw red following an awful challenge on Spooner on the far touchline.

Ashington continued to be in total control – and they added a third on the hour after a well-crafted move.

Ben Sampson and Van-Zandvliet were initially involved down the right and when the latter passed forward to Thompson, he made his way to the by-line and crossed for Thomson to side foot home from close range.

Three minutes later, a fourth looked on the cards following a corner on the right, but Tom Devitt headed the ball off the line.

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At full throttle, some of Ashington’s combination play was outstanding and they fashioned a fourth in the 79th minute with Thomson completing his hat-trick.

After a darting run, Kneeshaw had a shot blocked with the ball running into the path of Thompson. The midfielder tried to steer his effort from the edge of the area which kindly fell to Thomson, who tapped home.

In the next minute, Thomson rode a challenge from Jack Donaghy but his shot flew inches wide of the far post.

Then, after Buddle had preserved his side’s clean sheet with a brilliant block to thwart Olly Martin, Kneeshaw released substitute Ben Sampson in the inside right channel but the shot was kept out by Newbrook.

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Speaking after the game, manager Ian Skinner said: “If we wanted to be really greedy we could and should have scored more as we created numerous chances, but if you’d offered me a 4-0 win before kick-off I’m pretty confident I would have accepted it.”

Goalscorer Thomson said: “We took our chances – and to get three goals myself to help the boys’ record a win made it a brilliant Boxing Day.”