CONNOR Hughes found the net four times as Witton Albion hammered Hanley Town 5-1 at the U Lock It Stadium on Saturday.
The one-time Football League winger/midfielder with Oldham Athletic proved to be too hot to handle as Albion equalled their best win under Jon Macken, having also defeated Ramsbottom United at home 5-1 on October 22.
Two of Hughes’ goals came in a Witton purple patch early in the second half, when three goals were scored in five minutes.
Hughes’ first strike in the 28th minute gave Witton a 1-0 lead at the break but they came out for the second half with all guns blazing.
A second for Hughes (47) and his hat-trick effort (51) sandwiched Elliot Rokka’s 49th-minute goal.
Mike Koral scored in the 85th minute, though unfortunately it was in his own goal as hopes of a clean sheet ended.
Two minutes later Hughes completed his four-goal haul as Witton climbed two places to 13th in Northern Premier League West, leaping above Hanley as they slipped from 12th to 14th.
The 250th game in charge of 1874 Northwich for Wayne Goodison and Paul Bowyer did not end as they would have wanted, albeit facing a difficult challenge in windy Cumbria.
1874 lost 2-1 at third-placed Workington despite having taken a deserved first-half lead.
They went ahead in the seventh minute through Joe Woolley, who rounded the keeper and netted after latching on to a superbly threaded pass from Josh Quarless.
But that was as good as it got for the Greens, who had Cal Gardner sent off in the 90th minute.
The high-flying hosts were back on level terms in the 19th minute from a low strike inside the box after a poor defensive clearance.
Similarly, 1874 failed to deal with a 37th-minute corner and another low finish through a crowded box completed the afternoon’s scoring in Workington’s favour.
Gardner came nearest to breaking the deadlock in the second half when his 69th-minute cross skimmed off the crossbar with the keeper beaten.
As a result of the loss, 1874 have slipped from sixth to eighth in Northern Premier League West.
Neither Witton or 1874 will be in action again until next weekend.
Northwich Victoria were also defeated on their travels.
They lost 2-1 away to Vics manager Steve Wilkes’ former club Padiham, claiming only their seventh win from 20 games this season.
Vics’ goal came late on from Martyn Jackson, at a point that they were 2-0 adrift.
Harli Dewhurst (32) and Benjamin Hoskin (72) had put the Lancashire outfit in charge.
Vics have a game in midweek, entertaining Squires Gate at the U Lock It Stadium on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm.
Barnton managed a second successive draw, this time at home to Foley Meir.
The 2-2 outcome means Barnton have won only once in their last eight outings.
Joseph Levey’s 85th-minute goal gave Barnton a share of the spoils, proving to be the second time The Villages had levelled matters.
Thomas Wakefield (19) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead that was maintained for 41 minutes when Freddy Garbutt struck.
But Foley got their noses in front again when Wakefield notched for the second time in the 76th minute.