Hat-trick hero Jones fires Nelson to ninth-place finish

TREBLE: Max Jones scores his third goal in Nelson's 4-1 win against Northwich Villa.  PICTURE: Mark Wilkinson
TREBLE: Max Jones scores his third goal in Nelson's 4-1 win against Northwich Villa. PICTURE: Mark Wilkinson

Substitute Max Jones hit a 10-minute hat-trick as Nelson ended the season on a high with a 4-1 win at home to Northwich Villa.

Boss Mark Fell picked a strong side for the last game of the campaign, knowing a winwould hoist the Blues to ninth in the table, earning entry into next season’s FA Vase.

Jerrome Matthews kept his place after scoring in the midweek draw with Leek CSOB.

Malcolm Phipps tried to lob Blues keeper Ben Woodhead, who scrambled back to save, before Chris Turner fed Tom Anderton, whose shot was cleared off the line by James Badrock.

The dangerous Phipps then shot wide from a good position, before Nelson pressure paid off as skipper Turner beat keeper Scott Ludford with a wonderful left-foot strike on 25 minutes.

Then Nick Murphy put Matthews through, and his first-time shot was tipped over, and Joe Wilkinson fired over from the corner,

After the break, Turner’s free kick as handled in the area, but the skipper’s penalty was superbly saved.

Villa equalised when a free kick was punched out by Woodhead, but headed in by Callum McGlynn.

But Jones, on for Adam Stockdale, restored the lead, heading in a Turner corner, and scored from another flag kick to make it 3-1, before driving into the area to beat the dive of Ludford for his third.