Consett are bowled over by Ashington’s hat-trick hero Ben Harmison

An Andrew Johnson effort for Ashington strikes the Consett upright. Picture by Gary Welford

An Andrew Johnson effort for Ashington strikes the Consett upright. Picture by Gary Welford

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Ben Harmison scored the first hat-trick of his Ashington career as the Colliers chalked up only their third away victory over Consett in 20 years.

More well known for his cricketing talents, on Saturday the defender turned striker brilliantly led the line up front to help bowl the Steelmen over.

The home side struggled to cope with Ben Harmison, who caused them enormous problems in the air as well as his general play.

But whilst the forward was deservedly named man of the match, he was closely followed for the award by several of his team-mates after the Wansbeck outfit completely dominated proceedings once skipper Andrew Johnson had fired them into an 18th minute lead.

Ex-Collier Josh Gray, who returned to Belle View only recently, had looked lively early doors.

Nathan Steel drove wide from a Gray cross then Gray’s chip was held by keeper Conor Grant before a terrific opener from Johnson.

Ben Harmison glanced a forward ball on to Johnson who cut inside a defender then crashed in a left footer from 16 yards which left home stopper Peter Jeffries helpless as it cannoned into the net via the upright.

In the next minute, Harmison crossed from the right where Johnson’s header was held by Jeffries, then on the half hour only the woodwork denied Johnson again. He stepped forward to curl a superb right footed free kick from 20 yards which thudded against the post before being cleared.

A piece of sheer inventiveness from Damien Stevens saw him narrowly miss out as he flicked the ball over his head and after challenging the keeper, clipped the ball over.

However, the floodgates opened for the Colliers with two goals in three minutes before the interval and another shortly after the adjournment.

In the 38th, Stevens beat the offside trap and after rounding Jeffries pulled the ball back for Ben Harmison who stroked home from seven yards.

Then Kyle Downey won a challenge which put him through and as Jeffries advanced, he unselfishly laid the ball sideways for Stevens who blasted in the third.

And early in the second half it just got better and better for the Colliers.

On 48 minutes, Stevens latched onto a quickly taken free kick and when he pulled the ball back, Ben Harmison slotted home.

Grant was called on to block from Consett’s prolific goal scoring striker Michael Sweet before five minutes from time, following a free kick by Downey, Scott Gunn challenged Jeffries and when the ball broke, Ben Harmison was just off target with a lob.

However, 46 seconds later, substitute Adam Harvey beat two defenders down the right flank and when he crossed to the near post, Ben Harmison completed his hat-trick with a delicate flick inside the far corner.

Ashington: Grant, Taylor, Oliver, Dixon, Grieve, Bell, Downey, Gunn, B Harmison, Stevens (Harvey 65), Johnson. Subs not used: Dunn, J Harmison, Christensen, Hall.

On Saturday, Ashington are away to Jarrow Roofing.

Meanwhile the Woodhorn Lane outfit have announced confirmation of their first pre-season friendly for the 2016-17 campaign.

North East Counties Premier League outfit Staveley MWFC will travel up to Wansbeck to face the Colliers on Saturday, July 30.