Ben Harmison took his goals tally for the season to 13 after bagging a superb hat-trick as Ashington demolished a stunned Consett 5-0 at the Belle View Stadium on Saturday.
The striker said the display was the Colliers’ best of the season, but he was not surprised by the victory.
A beaming Ashington-born Harmison said: “I hurt my ankle just before the away League Cup game at Guisborough early last month, and as the lads have been playing well and won a couple of games, I had to sit things out.
“It was hard to get back in the side, but Andrew Bulford’s suspension opened up an opportunity for me and I felt fresh today.
“All the lads were gutted last week when we lost against North Shields because we showed them far too much respect.
“But today we got the early goal, our confidence grew and we showed character to bounce back after that setback at Shields.”
He continued: “You don’t expect to win 5-0 at any time, but when you look at the players in our squad, we can be brilliant on our day.
“We have got pace and are direct, and Andrew Johnson’s goal settled us down.
“We worked hard for each other and took our chances and with no disrespect to Consett – who are an excellent team - they came up against a good Ashington side.”
Harmison pointed to his third goal as being the best of the three.
“I was pleased with the first two, but the last one probably gave me the most pleasure,” he said.
“Obviously I was getting a bit tired and substitute Adam Harvey put a great ball in towards the front post. Consett were probably expecting it to go aerial to the back post but Adam put it over low and I got a nice flick on it to steer it in.”
Harmison admitted that although the Colliers led 3-0 at the break, complacency was never an issue.
He added: “We saw the Consett result in midweek where they beat Washington 8-5 and the lads said that the game wasn’t finished, so to get our fourth early after half-time was good.
“I thought this was our best performance of the season.
“We now have ten games left and the challenge is to try and go through the rest of the season unbeaten, so this has been a good start today, although we face a big week ahead.”