Hat-trick for Hill as Blues cruise through in FA Vase
Nelson boss Steve Cunningham was delighted to build on an encouraging draw at Prestwich Heys with an FA Vase demolition job on Tow Law Town.
Gareth Hill hit a first-half hat-trick as the Admirals raced into a 5-0 half-time lead on Saturday at Little Wembley.
And though the 1998 Vase finalists pulled a couple of goals back after the break, the Blues eased through to claim a home tie with Ashington – who they beat in the FA Cup two years ago – in the first round proper.
The Tow Law supporters created a real atmosphere on Saturday, with firecrackers and flares, but saw their side well beaten, and Cunningham said: “They made it a great occasion, a few lads on a stag do with a few flares, but we were excellent.
“They were a decent side, to be fair, but we were 3-0 up within 20-odd minutes.
“We got at them straight away, and it paid off.”
Hill netted within two minutes, and the former Rimington man added a second 12 minutes later.
He claimed his hat-trick goal midway through the first half, before James Wolfenden scored twice in 10 minutes before the break.
Lewis Martin and Callum Oldfield pulled goals back in the second half, but the game was long since over as a contest.
Nelson are back in league action at home to Chadderton tomorrow, and Cunningham is eager to make it three games without defeat: “To build on the previous week’s fantastic performance at Prestwich was good – we were down to 10 after 20 minutes or so and held on for a point, and could have nicked it.
“And it looks an even better result, given they beat Padiham 6-2 on Tuesday night.
“But the squad is settling down nicely now, I have a hard core of about 18 players, and my personal goal is to finish top eight this season, and see how far we can go in the cups.
“And you never know, the Vase has been worth a few quid to us, and if we can go further, I’ll hopefully get a bit more in my budget!”
Nelson are again at home on Tuesday night against Atherton Collieries in the LFA Challenge Trophy.