By Brian Bennett | Photos: Ian Brodie
Ben Harmison notched his second hat trick of the season as Ashington went on a goal scoring spree after hitting six against Tow Law at the Ironworks Ground on Tuesday night.
The result saw the Colliers move back into second place in the first division of the Ebac Northern League, two points ahead of Bishop Auckland.
Now the stage is all set for what promises to be a fascinating contest on Saturday (April 22) when the Wansbeck side travel to face Bishops at Heritage Park with a play off place up for grabs.
In what was a tenacious, dominant and high energy display by Ian Skinner’s side, the victory over the Lawyers was never in any doubt after Harmison had hit a quickfire double inside the opening quarter hour.
Ashington hit the straps from the first whistle and after a snapshot by Craig Spooner had gone narrowly over ‘keeper Thomas Orton’s crossbar, the opener followed shortly after in the eighth minute.
Ben Sampson played a diagonal pass out to the right flank where the overlapping Andrew Cartwright swung over a cross which was majestically headed inside the corner of the net by Harmison.
The lead was doubled just shy of the quarter hour mark when Ashington profited after a scintillating move.
Paul Robinson found Jordan Summerly down the left and when the full back crossed to the far post, the ball was headed back by Scott Heslop for Harmison who side footed home on the half volley.
Ashington created more chances with Spooner having a shot saved by Orton; Harmison stroking an instinctive effort just wide then Heslop heading off target.
The visitors had been rampant and they added a third in the 27th minute courtesy of another high quality strike from the irrepressible Paul Robinson.
The midfielder picked up possession and from 22 yards, smashed a left footer which left Orton grasping thin air as it rocketed past him and into the roof of the net.
Ashington started the second half as they had the first – and inside two minutes, were awarded a spot kick by referee Ryan Moore when Harmison was sent sprawling following an intricate move.
Harmison stepped up and duly completed his hat-trick. Orton got a hand to the penalty but it had enough purchase on it to nestle inside the corner.
As the half wore on, Ashington manager Ian Skinner utilised his substitutes and seven minutes after being introduced, Lee Mason latched onto on an excellent cross from Harmison and buried a right footer past Orton.
Five minutes later, Summerly also found the back of the net but the score was ruled out for offside before Tow Law almost grabbed a consolation when an effort from distance by Mathew Robson shaved the bar.
However the game ended with the Colliers taking their tally to an impressive six.
Harmison was again involved finding Summerly down the left and when he crossed, Karl Ross steered the ball wide of Orton.