In a match switched to the 4G pitch at the town's Queen Elizabeth High School on Saturday, October 21, Hexham crashed out of the Marsh Sports Insurance Northern Alliance Bill Gardner Cup at the First Round stage after lower league rivals Walker Central scored four times in the last twenty minutes to secure only their third win of the season in all competitions.

The hosts were out of the blocks quickly and it was one-way traffic towards the Walker Central goal in the opening fifteen minutes.

As early as the second minute, a long clearance from keeper Cameron Armstrong was flicked on by Kurtis Harvey into the box for winger Jordan Teasdale who sent an effort just wide of the near post.

A long throw from full back Callum Moore caused confusion in the opposition box and space opened up for Dale Graham but his firm strike hit a defender before being cleared away.

They continued to pin the opposition back inside their own half, pressing high up the pitch and confidently moving the ball around the park at every opportunity.

Lewis Loughhead's looping header was tipped over the bar by the experienced Gary Dixon for a corner. Moore's resulting delivery picked out an unmarked Loughhead beyond the back post but his header didn't trouble Dixon.

Hexham's positive start was rewarded when they deservedly took the lead in the 15th minute at the end of a flowing move down the right which left the Walker Central defenders chasing shadows. Graham fed Teasdale and his pinpoint cross to the back post was headed in from a tight angle by centre forward Kurtis Harvey who almost collided with the upright in the process of scoring (1-0).

The visitors finally got out of bottom gear after that setback, forcing a couple of corners in quick succession and home keeper Armstrong was at full stretch diving low to his left to tip centre forward Luke Jamieson-Yip's shot around the post. He then rescued his side after a long throw was allowed to bounce in the box and somehow managed to evade the Walker Central strikers.

The game was now developing into an entertaining end-to-end encounter with chances coming thick and fast. The only surprise after 35 minutes was that no more goals had been scored.

A Brad Rowell corner slipped through Dixon's hands but the hosts were unable to profit from his mistake, while, at the other end, central defender Kane Gellately's header from a corner flew just over the bar.

The visitors then broke upfield at pace and 17-year-old Dylan Currie was presented with a gilt-edged one-on-one opportunity against Armstrong but the keeper dived low to his left to keep out the youngster's effort.

Hexham then failed to clear the ball outside their own box and Armstrong did well to tip Tayo Fasan's low curling shot around the post before blocking Gellately's header with an outstretched arm.

The visitors came again and Currie was unlucky to see his effort drift inches wide of the far post with Armstrong beaten. Gellately then sent another header from a corner narrowly wide of the near post.

Hexham rallied as half-time approached with Loughhead drilling a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar and Moore had a shot blocked by Dixon's legs before Graham fired the rebound wide of the far post.

The hosts were first to threaten after the break and Dixon was in the right place to block Teasdale's firm strike following good play from Graham.

Out of nothing, the visitors equalised in the 54th minute. Breaking forward at pace and taking advantage of some poor marking, Jamieson-Yip was fed down the left side of the box before rounding the advancing Armstrong who had come too far out of his goal. The striker composed himself before finding the back of the net with an angled shot that went in off the inside of the back post (1-1).

Apart from a 25-yard curling right-footed Loughhead effort which clipped the angle of post and bar, the hosts seemed to lose their way and were firmly on the back foot.

It came as no surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 75th minute through 17-year-old striker Taylor Kerr. A slick 5-man move down the right carved open the home defence and, after being fed in the box, Kerr beat his man before calmly slotting the ball past Armstrong (1-2).

Their lead was extended on 80 minutes following good link-up play down the right involving Jamieson-Yip, Fasan and Kerr before a square ball to Currie in the box was dispatched into the bottom corner of the net (1-3).

A rare Hexham attack in the 85th minute brought them a free-kick 25 yards out and Loughhead's strike was palmed away by Dixon at full stretch.

After denying Currie and Kerr with great saves in successive attacks, Armstrong couldn't prevent Kerr scoring again in the 89th minute. Currie was found in acres of space down the left and looked up before squaring to Kerr in the box. The striker had time to take a touch before firing past Armstrong (1-4).

Kerr rounded off a memorable afternoon's work by completing his hat-trick in the 93rd minute at the end of another flowing move. Breaking forward at pace down the left, Currie and substitute Callum Dryden linked up well before Dryden delivered a pinpoint cross to Kerr who coolly slotted the ball home from 10 yards to put the seal on a five-star second-half display.

The cup-ties involving Ponteland United, Wallington, and Ryton & Crawcrook Albion were all postponed on Saturday due to waterlogged pitches. Weather permitting, they will now take place this Saturday with Ponteland (away) and Wallington (home) kicking off at 2.00pm, while Ryton & Crawcrook Albion's FA Vase match at Kingsley Park against Cheadle Town kicks-off at 3.00pm.