Hebburn Town turned in a five-star performance on Saturday to set themselves up nicely for their big South Tyneside derby at South Shields.
The Hornets bounced back to form with a brilliant 5-0 win at Willington.
Having crashed to a 4-0 loss at home to Northallerton a week earlier, it was an important confidence booster ahead of tomorrow night’s clash at Mariners Park in front of what promises to be a bumper crowd.
Hebburn were boosted by the return from holiday of influential defender Chris Smith, who started the game at centre-half.
The game, as expected, was played on a very heavy pitch but Hebburn came flying out of the blocks and Marc Costello was denied by the keeper’s legs in the first minute.
After five minutes the impressive Craig Malley rattled the crossbar with a left-foot volley.
The woodwork denied Hebburn again after 15 minutes when top scorer Channon North was put through by Callum Smith and he rounded the keeper but struck the crossbar with the goal at his mercy
Hebburn finally opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Costello fired home from eight yards after more good work from Callum Smith.
Hebburn went two up after 30 minutes. A Kris Summers free kick was headed into his own goal by a Willington centre-half.
Hebburn went in at half time knowing there was still work to be done as they were kicking up the slope in the second period, but the game was put to bed just 60 seconds after the restart.
Chris Feasey crossed for Malley to head home and kill off any hopes the home side had of making a comeback.
It was 4-0 a few minutes later with almost an identical goal, this time Scott Wallace crossing for Malley to get his second of the game.
It allowed manager Scott Oliver to ring the changes, and make three substitutions on the hour mark, and one of the replacements, Kyle Morris, finished impressively after 70 minutes to complete the scoring.
Oliver said: “Having more players to choose from, and a strong bench, showed in the display.
“It was important that we lifted the mood with the derby tomorrow.”