Ashington earned a trip to Scarborough in the FA Cup with an emphatic 9-0 win over Pontefract Collieries on Saturday.
It was a day when another chapter was written in the club’s history as Helen Conley became the first female referee to take charge of a match at either Portland Park or Woodhorn Lane, and the Colliers bridged a gap of more than 30 years as they recorded their highest victory on home soil.
Striker Ian Mutrie netted six in the 9-2 win over Willington at Portland Park back in 1980 whilst Andrew Johnson led the scoring stakes on Saturday with a hat-trick.
Marc Walton and Glen Taylor both grabbed a brace with newcomer Sam Norris and substitute Lee Scott also on target as Gary Middleton’s side ran riot against their shell shocked visitors from West Yorkshire.
The home side were quick out of the traps and inside 65 seconds, visiting keeper Ben Saynor was called into the action, clutching a header from Glen Taylor after a diagonal free kick by Kyle Oliver.
Walton then fired across goal before the Colliers unlocked the door in the 13th minute with a swift counter attack after defending a corner on the right.
Johnson raided down the left and found James Taylor who chested the ball down then slipped it to Walton, who took a touch then rifled wide of Saynor.
Home stopper Karl Dryden made a couple of saves inside the six-yard ox but in the 21st minute Norris ought to have doubled the lead when he was through with a one-on-one opportunity but saw his effort pouched by the keeper.
Dean Twibey fired just over from distance then Lance McGlen made a vital block to halt Brent Leister before the Colliers hit Pontefract with two goals inside five minutes.
In the 35th minute, Liam Atkin’s chipped ball over the top found Johnson who advanced then pulled it square for the incoming Norris who side footed into the roof of the net.
The third goal saw Norris, who along with Johnson caused problems all afternoon, accept a pass from James Taylor then run half the length of the field, beating a defender inside the box. Norris dragged the ball across and after a Walton step over, Glen Taylor applied a clinical finish with a sweetly struck right footer.
The Colliers stepped on the gas early in the second period with another quick fire double.
In the 53rd minute, Glen Taylor headed powerfully home from a pin-point left wing corner by Johnson, then the scorer and Norris combined to set up Walton who fired home on the half volley.
The goals continued to rain in and in the 70th minute it became 6-0.
Michael Laws won the ball in midfield and found Glen Taylor on the left. From his cross substitute David Carson applied a deft touch to Johnson who waltzed through a static Pontefract defence before burying his shot into the bottom corner.
Five minutes later it was simplicity itself as skipper Liam Atkin found Johnson on the left with a free kick and the winger easily moved past a defender before firing home.
The visitors thought they had registered a consolation when they had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside – and to add to their sore wounds, the Colliers took their tally to nine with two goals in a minute.
Johnson had been denied when his header was blocked by Saynor, but after a cross by Carson, sub Scott and James Taylor played a one-two with Scott pulling the trigger and making no mistake with a crisp drive.
Then Oliver and sub Dean Briggs schemed a move which saw Glen Taylor foiled by Saynor but the rebound fell to Johnson who gleefully stabbed home to complete his hat-trick.
Ashington now travel to Scarborough Athletic on Saturday, August 31, in the next round.
Ashington: Dryden, McGlen, Oliver, Laws (Briggs 70 mins), Atkin, Grieve, Norris (L Scott 67 mins), J Taylor, Walton (Carson 67 mins), G Taylor, Johnson. Subs not used: C Scott, Bell, Barnard.
On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Hebburn (3pm) then make the short trip to face Bedlington Terriers at Welfare Park on August Bank Holiday Monday, where kick-off is 11am.