Johnston hits hat-trick in New Hartley win

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New Hartley Juniors and new coach Phil Hildreth got off to a flying start in their opening game on Saturday with a 6-3 win over Darlington Youths.

Hildreth, a former captain of New Hartley before moving to West Allotment, Whitley Bay and Bedlington Terriers, was appointed in the summer.

And he had striker Callum Johnston to thank for his opening day hat-trick in the win.

Johnston opened the scoring on 20 minutes with Oscar Mitchell doubling the lead ten minutes later.

The Quakers immediately pulled one back before a wonder strike from Callum Uddgren made it 3-1.

Again Darlington pulled one back from the spot to make it 3-2, but Toy Spratt made it 4-2 just before the break.

Johnston then netted twice to make it 6-2 to complete his hat-trick and Darlington added the last goal to make the final score 6-3.

John Maley, of New Hartley, said: “It was a great win for us and a good start for new coach Phil Hildreth.

“As well as living in the village, he is a former captain of ours and has a vast amount of experience playing most of his senior football in the Northern League.

“Michael Woods has stepped down due to work commitments after seven successful seasons with us and we wish him all the best in his new role with the Newcastle United Foundation.”