HEXHAM and Tyne Valley rivals Prudhoe YC Seniors will battle it out directly for a place in a place in the Northumberland FA Minor Cup quarter-finals.

The crunch date has been set for Prudhoe’s Kimberly Park on December 8 after Hexham ended the unbeaten run of New Hartley Juniors in the third round tie at the Wentworth last weekend.

While the 6-1 scoreline looks comfortable, the young guns from the Durham U18 League made life difficult throughout for the Tynedale hosts.

In-form striker Dylan Mabunu maintained his great run in front of goal by helping himself to a hat-trick, and he was joined on the scoresheet by teammates Marc Nixon, Michael Robson and Ollie James.

It was man of the match Mabunu who got the ball rolling after 10 minutes as he reacted first to tap home as the Hartley goalkeeper spilled Robbie Pattison’s shot.

The danger man soon made it two as a sharp turn in the area saw him roll his man to fire past the away custodian.

The third goal came on the stroke of half time following some good link-up play between Pattison and Owen Murtough. The ball made its way to Nixon who took one touch before firing home from the edge of the area.

New Hartley kept plugging away and put pressure on their hosts, but they found themselves four goals down 10 minutes after the break as that man Mabunu completed his hat-trick. He robbed his opponent of the ball and ran clear to slide the ball under the goalkeeper.

There was a rare goal for Robson, who pushed Mabunu close to the star man accolade, when he connected with Will Forsyth’s free kick to make it 5-0. The scoring for Hexham was rounded off by substitute James as he won the ball from a defender and outpaced his markers to slot home the sixth goal.

Home and dry, Hexham switched off and conceded in the final four minutes when a long ball over the top caught their defence out.

But, all in all, it was a pleasing performance for manager Martin Lowes and his assistant Andy Turnbull.

Lowes said: “It was a great game and, although it looks like a walk in the park, New Hartley played some good stuff and pressured us. They were a good team who have beaten a couple of adult teams, so it was a great result.”