Can Craig Hubbard play Skelmersdale United every week?
The Blyth Spartans midfielder’s hat-trick at the West Lancashire College Stadium nine days ago may merely have supplied his side with consolation amid a 4-3 league defeat to the Evo-Stik Premier leaders.
However, in Saturday’s FA Trophy first qualifying round clash with the Skem at Croft Park, another – after a goal in last Tuesday’s 3-2 home win over Ilkeston – was more than the icing on the cake.
Yes, Skelmersdale had Matty Hughes and, late on, Rob McIntosh sent off.
Yet manager Tom Wade insists that should not detract from his side’s stunning 6-0 win over the league leaders.
He said: “It might not look as good as it should because people will see they’ve gone to 10 men and then nine, but we thoroughly deserved the win no matter what, people here will know that.
“All of our goals were excellent and we looked lethal at times.
“It was a bit flat in the first half but we were still the better side. When we got the first goal we were only ever going to win the game, but I didn’t think it would be the way it was.
“We’ve worked really hard against 11 men and made them work even harder after the two red cards.
“We changed it around in terms of the formation to suit the circumstances and the big change came when we moved (Dan) Maguire out to the right again and stretched the pitch.
“That made it even harder (for Skelmersdale) and created more for ourselves.”
Hubbard got the ball rolling on 58 minutes, added another on 61 and another still on 67.
Ash Davis netted his first for the Spartans since returning from Whitley Bay after 81 minutes, Joe Kendrick made it 5-0 on 88 and during added time Dan Maguire celebrated signing a new contract at the Northumberland outfit with Blyth’s sixth.
Wade added: “It’s been some week for Hubs hasn’t it? Seven goals in a week, in three games, is a remarkable achievement.
“He scored three excellent goals down there last week but today he surpassed that with three very different finishes.
“He is doing what is asked of him and more than that besides.
“We have a free week now and players coming back from injury. I honestly think we can go on from here, but it will still take time.”