By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

Craig Spooner was delighted to score a brace in the 4-0 rout over West Auckland at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday – but revealed afterwards that he is still chasing a first ever hat trick at senior level!

And the 24 year old – who has recently played for the Colliers at full back – says he is happy to play anywhere. However when he netted just past the half hour mark on Saturday, it was his first goal for the club since the beginning of November: “To be honest, I don’t mind where I play as long as I do my job for the team,” he commented, “Midfield is my preferred position and it was great to be back in the number ten role, score two goals and for us to get the win.”

Spooner scored twice in the space of ten minutes in the opening period and added: “For my first, it was a bit of a lucky ricochet off their centre half which has put the ball in my path and I’ve taken a touch and scored. For the second, I saw ‘Damo’ (Damen Mullen) run through the middle so I arced my run around the back; he’s hung the ball up and I’ve just tapped it in.”

Spooner – based in Cramlington – expressed mixed feelings when he was replaced by Lewis Suddick for the final quarter hour: “Initially, I was disappointed because I’ve never scored a hat-trick at senior level,” he said, “but then I thought ‘I’ve done my bit for the team’ – so I wasn’t really bothered when I came off. As a group, the result finished off what was a perfect week for us with three wins on the bounce as well as three clean sheets.”

Manager Ian Skinner was full of praise for the versatile Spooner when he said: “Craig is a great lad who can play in a number of positions and in recent weeks, he’s done a fantastic job for us both at right back and left back. Obviously we lost Dean Briggs to injury during Tuesday’s win over Redcar Athletic and we just thought that we were at home; second half against Redcar when we moved the ball quick we caused them problems and just thought we needed to play nice and quick. With Jordan Summerly being available I possibly could have left the back four the same as they had kept two clean sheets but I just thought we’d put a natural left back in which would release Craig to go into the number ten role. I thought with his energy and ability to get on the end of things and score goals was what we might need today – and that proved to be the case. I know Craig was desperate to get a third but I was more than pleased for him that he got the two!”