"WHO needs Matty when you have got Mashy?" joked Great Harwood manager John Hughes.
The boss was celebrating after Paul Mashiter scored a hat-trick for the underdogs against First Division Atherton to seal a place in the quarter-finals of the League Challenge Cup on Saturday.
"A lot of the attention has been on Matty Derbyshire this year but he has gone to Blackburn so it was nice for Mashy to get the goals," said Hughes.
"Paul is only around 24, his partner has just had a baby boy and he has capped a fine week with a hat-trick. He couldn't stop smiling after the game. He was chuffed to bits. And their manager said to us that we were the best team they have played this season. That is a big compliment considering we are in Division Two.
"But we know we can play at that level. We beat Abbey Hey last season and have beat Nantwich already this year. It was a good win for us though."
Mashiter scored in the 24th, 27th and 80th minutes while Andy Taylor struck in the 40th minute in their 4-2 win. And, what was even more pleasing for Hughes was - despite not being in league action - Harwood have held onto seventh place in the league. While Colne won, Nelson and leaders Formby drew with each other and Ashton Town suffered a shock loss to Chadderton.
"The results went quite well for us this weekend," continued Hughes. "Nelson are a good side and they only drew. Colne are the ones to catch as they are like us with games in hand but we have got to play them twice yet."
Harwood are in league action on Saturday when they welcome Eccleshall to the Showground (ko 3pm). The two sides only met a couple of weeks ago when they drew 0-0 but Hughes will be expecting his side to pick up all three points.
Meanwhile, Harwood are still in the hunt in a second cup competition after forcing a 1-1 draw at Winsford in the Division Two quarter-final on Wednesday night. Mashiter was once again the hero equalising after Winsford had gone ahead through an own goal. The tie went into extra-time but neither side could score the winner. The last thing boss Hughes wanted was a replay but the game will be played again at the Showground at a date to be arranged.
- FORMER Great Harwood star Matty Derbyshire helped Blackburn youth team to a third round win over Bury Town. Derbyshire touched the ball over the line in the 2-0 win - although team-mate Tareck Sakali claimed it was already in.