This week’s ‘Greatest Hat-Trick’ comes from a Second Division match on 24th February 2004 between Bournemouth and Wrexham.
It seems like a strange fixture to pick a hat-trick from, but all will come clear in a moment!

Bournemouth were 3-0 up against their Welsh opponents when striker James Hayter came off the bench to replace Steve Fletcher in the 84th minute.
Two minutes after coming on, the substitute ran in to head in from close range after a cross from the right by Brian Stock.

Hayter added a second just 45 seconds later, beating the Wrexham offside trap to hit low under Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Dibble.
Warren Cummings then dispossed a Wrexham midfielder just inside the Bournemouth half before racing forward. He looked up and saw James Hayter in space to his right. Cummings found Hayer with a perfectly weighted pass between two defenders and the striker was clean through.
Hayter was in acres of space, with no defender anywhere near him. He took a touch, steadied himself and fired across Dibble into the far corner.

Just two minutes and twenty seconds separated the Bournemouth striker’s first and third goals. It is the fastest hat-trick in the history of the Football League.

The only disappointment for Hayter in the evening was that his family weren’t there to see the record-breaking moment. His parents and brother had come to watch their son play, but they left early to make sure they got their ferry back home to the Isle of Wight!


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