By Brian Bennett

Jordan Lashley was still on cloud nine – after hitting all four goals in Ashington’s 4-1 victory over Redcar Athletic on Wednesday night.

The 23 year old ex Bedlington Terriers striker came off the bench midway through the second half with his side trailing 1-0 – and completely transformed the game in a little over 20 minutes.

Afterwards Lashley said: “This was my first ever hat-trick – let alone four goals. It hasn’t sunk in yet and probably won’t until later tonight. I’ve already received a few messages of congratulations from members of the family but at the moment I’m absolutely buzzing about it and also that we got the win. When I came on with about 25 minutes left the boss (Ian Skinner) told me that when I got the ball, to turn and get at their defence and let shots fly. So as soon as the ball came to my feet I looked to turn and drive and have a go.”

It took Ashington-born Lashley only two minutes to open his account and he added: “When Bobby (Taylor), Max (Cowburn) and myself came off the bench, the boss said ‘we want you three to change the game.’ I was obviously pleased to score the first goal which brought us level but the focus after that was for us to go on and win the game. We could see that Redcar were tiring and there was plenty of space for us to exploit – so I was happy to help!”

Lashley – a sales advisor who is based in North Seaton – selected his third goal as being the pick of the bunch: “I turned; the defender stood and the space has opened up and I bent the ball inside the far corner from outside the box.”

Now Lashley’s aim is to stay in the side: “We want to try and finish the season as strong as possible,” he said, “We have got the quality and can pick up points and wins if we play the way we know we can,” he said, “I was out of the squad for a few weeks but I remained patient and when I got the chance I just told myself that I had to take it and try to remain involved.”

Manager Ian Skinner said: “Jordan came to the club and people remember the story where he wasn’t in the squad and then I called him in and he scored a couple of goals on his debut at Whitley Bay. He netted on his home debut but then dropped out of the squad through illness and hadn’t been able to get back in. He got this opportunity – we thought he deserved it too – but what supporters have seen tonight is what we the management team see in training on a weekly basis and it was about giving him the confidence to transfer that from the training ground to the pitch.” He continued: “In training Jordan has got great feet and goes past people; he scores goals and we try to give him the confidence to try and go and do that on a Saturday. That’s why we brought him to the football club and I’m really pleased for him that he has scored four really well taken goals. Two of them were fantastic finishes; two were good finishes. He has never approached me to ask ‘what is going on? – you brought me to the club and I’ve been in and out.’ Instead he’s been patient and full credit to him.”