In-form Ashington make it five wins in a row

Hat-trick hero Dean Briggs celebrates against Crook Town.Hat-trick hero Dean Briggs celebrates against Crook Town.
Hat-trick hero Dean Briggs celebrates against Crook Town.
In-form Ashington continued their unbeaten start to the new season in the Northern League first division by making it five wins in a row this week, writes Brian Bennett.

On Saturday Dean Briggs netted a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Crook, which saw the Colliers return to the top of the table. And on Tuesday they followed it up with a late 2-1 home victory over Sunderland RCA, giving them a maximum 15 points out of 15.

The Wearsiders threatened to put a spoke in Ashington’s unblemished record as they took an early lead through striker Mark Davison.

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But two late goals from substitute Ben Harmison saw the home side turn things around and maintain their 100 per cent record.

After the game, manager Ian Skinner said: “These lads just don’t know when they are beaten.

"Obviously I’m delighted that we have won the game but to be honest, even if we hadn’t managed to claw it back late, I don’t think my thoughts would have changed. I thought we played as well as we have done all season and I was delighted with the performance.

"The only negative was that I was really disappointed with the goal we conceded in terms of we could have stopped the cross and then we’ve allowed a free header at the back post. But then again, with this team of ours, you never feel too concerned.

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"I thought we dominated the ball across the 90 minutes; created numerous chances and it will be interesting when I receive some of the stats back from the footage.

"RCA came and played a 5-4-1 formation which we are going to experience a lot this season. Obviously they had the added advantage of going 1-0 up so that makes them want to defend that little bit more but I just felt we created a number of chances in the first half and their ‘keeper (Keaton Marrs) has made some good saves.

"Other than the goal RCA haven’t really had another opportunity that I can remember.”

After Saturday’s win over Crook, when Robbie Dale via the penalty spot and Lee Mason added to Briggs’ treble, Skinner said: “It was a good performance from our lads in difficult conditions in terms of the heat, and Dean’s hat-trick was the icing on the cake.”