Harrogate Railway strolled into the Evo-Stik Doodson Cup quarter-finals on Monday night with a 5-1 victory over Spennymoor Town.
Jesus Martin-Farina’s 15-minute hat-trick ensured a comfortable night at Station View before goals from Rob Youhill and teenager Dan Hickey capped off another high-scoring evening’s work.
Stepping into Nathan Cartman’s footsteps, Jesus took the game away from the Northerners in a devastating early spell.
The striker stole in to slide Malachi Farquharson’s through ball home inside eight minutes and he found himself in the right place to stab home a Greg Kidd corner three minutes later.
Spennymoor struggled to cope with Farquharson’s strength, and the tenacity of Fatlum Ibrahimi behind him, and when Scott Manning burst forward from left-back he was hauled down as he raced into the box.
A voice from the sidelines cried ‘Let Jesus take it’, and the Spaniard sent Spennymoor goalie David Atkinson the wrong way to seal his treble. When Youhill raced through on the stroke of half-time to hammer in Railway’s fourth, a repeat of the 7-1 thrashing of Frickley Athletic in the previous round looked on the cards.
However, Spennymoor returned in the second half with greater spells of possession. And minutes after Michael Roberts dribbled through the defence only to smash against the bar, substitute Reece Brown denied Railway a clean sheet with a strike into the top corner.
Rail’ had rested Farquharson and Youhill for the second period to give youngsters Hickey and Luca Crompton match experience. And the teenagers combined late on to allow Hickey to put the icing on the cake, tapping in at the far post inside the final five minutes.
Railway will play Ramsbottom United away in the next round, but Miller has not started thinking his side could go all the way in the competition - despite reaching the last eight.
He said: “We were discussing the pros and cons of being in this competition, and how far we could get in it, and whether or not it’s worthwhile. You only have to have a game where you pick up two injuries and with the squad we have got, you get into problems.
“But as Shep (club secretary David Shephard) reminded me, it’s about time Railway had anothe rdecent cup run. The last time they won a cup was the President’s Cup back in the Northern Counties East.
“We’ll just enjoy the ride.
“The cup run just gives us that little distraction from the league for if we don’t quite make the play-offs because we run out of games. It won’t do us any harm.”