African All Stars

Assombalonga grabs hat-trick in Middlesbrough's whitewash of Hartlepool United

22:17 WAT 28/07/2018
Britt Assombalonga Middlesbrough 2017-18
The DR Congo international scored a treble as the Smoggies returned to winning ways after a three-game losing run in pre-season

Britt Assombalonga scored a hat-trick as Middlesbrough handed a 5-0 defeat to Hartlepool United in Saturday’s friendly encounter.

After losing their last three tune-up games against Augsburg, Accrington Stanley and Rochdale, Tony Pulis’ men returned to victory with an emphatic first-half performance.

Assombalonga who racked up 15 goals in 46 English Championship league outings last season got the curtain raiser in the 34th minute.

The 25-year-old attacker then added the second three minutes later before completing his treble - sandwiched by a pair from Ashley Fletcher - at the nick of 45 minutes to seal the imposing first-half display against the National League side.

However, just before the restart, the former Nottingham Forest player was replaced by Julien de Sart after picking up a knock.

The Smoggies who narrowly missed out of promotion to the English Premier League last term after finishing fifth will hope for more of this when they kick-off their 2018-19 campaign against Millwall on August 4.