Scott Oliver described Saturday’s 4-1 win over Tow Law Town as his ‘best day at the club’ as Hebburn Town produced a stunning performance in front of a huge crowd.
Braces from Channon North and the energetic Jason Blackburn sealed a great win sin front of a staggering crowd of 451.
Roll back exactly one month when Hebburn Town faced Thornaby, there were more people on the pitch than in a crowd, with only 16 paying customers.
This set off warning bells as the club sent out a stark message that if attendances did not increase significantly, and they got more sponsorship from the local business community, then it was unlikely that the club would survive beyond the season.
Two weeks later, 282 supporters turned up to watch the Hornets fluff their lines in front of their largest crowd for many years, turning in an insipid display and losing 3-0 against Team Northumbria .
On Saturday, they didn’t.
The committee and coaches of Hebburn Town Juniors had launched a campaign under the banner of “Non-League Day at Hebburn Town”. It was a great atmosphere as kids and adults alike mingled at the game, while on the pitch, Hebburn produced an excellent performance. No stage fright this time.
“I was really pleased with the performance,” said Oliver. “We showed the crowd we are a good team, which was important after we let ourselves down against Team North.
“It was my best day at the club. The support was fantastic.”
One of the reasons for that was the performance of Blackburn. While right-back Craig Malley won the official man of the match award for his tireless display, Blackburn set the tone early on.
The 20-year-old played his best game in Hebburn colours, volleying home North’s cross inside three minutes to settle any nerves.
A being one of the victims, brought more spectators to the game,
The lead was short-lived, when after 15 minutes, Michael Gibson looped a header over Hebburn keeper Lee Burrell for the equaliser.
However, Blackburn was combining well with North and this combination put Hebburn back into the lead when the former flicked on a long throw for his skipper to convert.
After 43 minutes Blackburn ended an excellent first half performance by himself and the whole team, when his strength took him past a defender to drive wide of the keeper, to give Hebburn a 3-1 lead,.
The pattern of the game carried on in the second half, even after Glen Hargrave was shown a straight red by the referee for dissent.
Down to 10 men, hebburn still had plenty energy and Blackburn, who had harried the away defenders all afternoon, chased what looked like a lost ball and crossed. North blocked the keeper’s attempted clearance and blasted the ball home for Hebburn’s fourth, and his 100th goal for the club,
It sealed a fantastic day on and off the pitch for Hebburn.