Delighted Ashington skipper Andrew Johnson – proud as punch to be appointed captain – admitted after he had notched a second half hat-trick against Newton Aycliffe on Saturday that he could not be happier.
Man of the moment Johnson struck his second treble of the campaign – his first came in the 9-0 drubbing of Pontefract Collieries in the FA Cup – with a succession of headers in the 56th, 70th and 87th minutes.
And the 26-year-old even referred to his last effort as being Alan Shearer-esque.
Beaming at the final whistle, Johnson said: “It’s my second hat-trick of the season but I think it is the first occasion when I’ve notched with three headers.
“To be honest, the game opened up for us and I fancied getting a few more goals, so I started pushing forward a little bit more towards the end and it paid dividends.”
Johnson paid tribute to his team-mates who had set up his trio of goals.
“The first one was a great ball from David Carson and all I had to do was to get something on it and direct it back across,” he said.
“The second came after a one-two on the edge of the box with Glen (Taylor) where I beat the keeper to the ball and got a bit lucky that the rebound bounced back to me and I just reacted.
“However, I particularly enjoyed my last goal set up by Darren Lough, which was Alan Shearer-esque.”
Johnson is also relishing the added responsibility of wearing the captain’s armband.
“I love being skipper and am proud of it,” he said.
“All I want is to do well for Ashington and to keep things going and I couldn’t be happier.
“It’s been tough the past few weeks but we have all dug in and performed really well with work rate being the key element.”