Liam Hardy put in a star performance for Worksop Town as they cruised to a 6-1 walk in the park against Hebburn Town who fell to their third consecutive defeat.
Hardy’s first-half hat-trick proved all the difference, but not without Jack Broadhead, Ben Tomlinson and Jay Rollins complementing the visitors.
Olly Martin was the sole name on Hebburn’s goal sheet in the 30th minute.
Before the match this was billed as a potentially close and fierce encounter, having started the match in second and third places in the Northern Premier League – East Division.
But on the day, there was no doubt as to which side were best and Worksop deserved every plaudit for how convincingly they played.
Hardy opened the scoring in the seventh minute, after Aleksandrs Starcenko slotted him through on goal with little opportunity but to strike it cleanly on goal.
He followed up in the 15th minute when the referee played advantage for a potential challenge by Hornets’ player-manager Daniel Moore, and Hardy sprinted through, wrongfooting both keeper Shaun Newbrook and defender Joe Walton on his way to a brace.
Needless to say, Hebburn were second-best especially in the first half, as the Tigers kept knocking. Chances in the 26th and 28th minutes by Terry Hawkridge as well as the aforementioned Hardy kept the visitors busy.
Perhaps against the run of play was Hebburn’s equaliser – Martin found space in the area and firmly hit it past Worksop’s Sebastian Malkowski.
It proved to be Hebburn’s only moment to celebrate, and they only had a few minutes before Hardy grabbed his hat-trick and dashed any hopes of an unlikely comeback.
Malkowski lobbed the ball well into Hebburn’s half in the 32nd minute and with only Newbrook and Donaghy separating Hardy from his well-acquainted goal, there was no looking back as Worksop extended their lead once again.
Just 10 minutes later Hawkridge aligned his corner impeccably into the path of Broadhead who nodded in past Newbrook on the inside post, in the process stunning Hebburn’s defence who thought they had a hand to it.
The second half for the most part was a quieter and more disrupted affair as more breaks in play broke up the game.
The most notable chance came in the 48th minute – Worksop’s Hawkridge fired from 25 yards out, his shot ricocheting off the crossbar, almost dazzling even the home supporters.
Combinations of substitutes for both sides, some enforced and others not, did little to change the game which had been settled by half-time.
Sam Wedgbury in the 83rd minute scooped the ball over Sean Reid who was in the Hebburn box straight to Rollins, whose shot was parried by Newbrook.
This opened up Tomlinson who was on standby to head past the Hebburn keeper to make it five.
The sixth goal came in the 92nd minute, when Reid’s scuffed pass found Rollins who superbly bent his shot into the top corner.
It capped off a sublime Worksop performance who now travel to the East Midlands buoyantly.
But for the 339 who were in attendance at the Green Energy Sports Ground, questions must be asked as to how Moore’s Hornets fell so hard, and why they were so out of character, on Saturday.
Hebburn Town: Newbrook, Walton, Groves, Moore, Donaghy, Phillips (Paylor), Thompson, Spence (Harrison), Reid, Martin, Murray. Subs: Field, Coulson, Devitt.
Worksop Town: Malkowski, Hutchinson, Wilde, Wedgbury, Atherton, Broadhead, Hawkridge, Starcenko, Hardy (Tomlinson), Hanson (Hall), Rollins. Subs: Redford, Bencherif