ASHINGTON continued their impressive pre-season form under the floodlights on Wednesday night at Woodhorn Lane with an 8-2 win over West Allotment Celtic.
The hosts produced a phenomenal second half display, which included a hat-trick for Gareth Bainbridge, playing short precise football leading to a convincing scoreline which was far from flattering.
The colliers threatened as early as the third minute when an interchange of passes between Tommy English and Andrew Johnson on the edge of the area saw the former drag a right footed shot past the post.
Allotment showed positive signs but rarely posed a threat, although in the 11th minute striker Lewis Atkinson broke through only to put his effort wide.
He would regret that miss a minute later as James Taylor coerced a hopeful ball over the Allotment defence from the right hand side and Phill Bell took it down and finished smartly from 12 yards.
The home side continued to press and defender Liam Atkin doubled the lead in the 22nd minute with a close range header from an English corner.
Allotment reduced arrears five minutes later. A smart move down the right hand side ended with the lively Atkinson curling the ball into the top corner from just inside the box.
But within two minutes Ashington had restored their two-goal cushion.
Another long ball from Taylor on the right hand side beat the Allotment defence and winger Paul Buzzeo finished from close range.
After the break play continued in a similar fashion with the Colliers taking further control.
English consistently tested the visitors backline with consecutive corners.
And on 57 minutes defender Matthew Grieve headed home from close range from an English corner to make it 4-1.
Paul Antony sustained his fine pre-season form and on the hour his floated a ball over the backline found substitute Gareth Bainbridge and the striker finished with aplomb in the bottom corner from the right hand side of the six-yard box.
Six minutes later and Bainbridge doubled his tally, finishing from a tight angle after an Atkin ball again caught the defence napping.
On 68 minutes the Colliers continued to drive forward, and a ball from the right hand side from substitute Mark O’Dea was met by Lewis Storey from the edge of the box and his volley grazed the post on the way in.
Allotment gained a small consolation in the 70th minute from the penalty spot. A retaken kick saw Jed Finlay place the ball in the right hand corner after his previous attempt was saved by goalkeeper Karl Dryden.
Ashington continued to push and Allotment found themselves in their own half for long periods of the second half.
Johnson produced a fine save from Allotment goalkeeper Aiden Ames in the 78th minute after a cross from the ever-threatening Taylor on the right.
The scoring was completed in the 83rd minute with Bainbridge completing his 30-minute hat-trick with a fine finish.
A ball over the Allotment defence by Andrew Dugdale found the striker in space and he curled a shot in the right top right corner from the left hand side of the six-yard box.
Ashington: Dryden (Barnard 73 mins), Williams, Buzzeo (Storey 57 mins), Antony (O’Dea 66 mins), Atkin, Grieve, Taylor, Dugdale, Bell (Bainbridge 53 mins), Johnson, English (Young 60 mins).