“6-0 up and we’re having a laugh” – Hayter makes history on Pancake Day!! (24th February 2004)

This night will always be one I remember from Dean Court. So many things happenned and suddenly everything in the cherry garden was rosy and we were heading for Division Two (or whatever stupid name the English FA have decided to call the second tier of their national football league). The day started very ordinarily. I was studying hard at the time and had been at Bournemouth University working on presentations and assignments. I came home late afternoon and two of my housemates at the time, Steve Compton and Claire Curtis had bought all the stuff for making pancakes. It was Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and that was our dinner. I remember having Cherry and chocolate pancakes in the front room and we had some squirty cream. Me and Austin started tossing the pancakes up in the air in the front room. One hit the ceiling, most of the others were saved and we all enjoyed eating them. I remember there was me, Steve, Claire, Hannah, Austin, Dan and Dancing Andy all in my house that night for the pancake fest. Then I put my dressing gown on and Austin squirted the cream all over it! It was pretty funny, even looking back. We had re-scheduled tickets for the AFC Bournemouth v. Wrexham match that night. The match was meant to take place in January, but was rained off and this was the date of the re-scheduled match. Nothing seemed remotely out of the ordinary. One thing I remember although was that Austin and Steve hadn’t planned to attend the first match, but the postponement meant that they would make it. And boy was it worth it…

We left my house and typically enjoyed a pint in the Dolphin pub in Springbourne a few doors down from my house. Then all ready for a ball freezing Tuesday night England v. Wales match we headed to Dean Court. We were big favourites in our first season back in the Third Division. We had beaten Wrexham 2-1 away earlier in the season and had also won 3 or 4 on the trot at home, including an impressive 1-0 win over promotion certainties QPR. Warren Feeney scored the winner that day. This match started and by half-time both AFC Bournemouth full backs had got on the scoresheet, with Stephen Purches firing a right foot shot home, and Warren Cummings helping himself to a left foot volley. We were 2-0 up and cruising, but football is a funny old game and at half-time the points weren’t safe. However Wrexham went down to 10 men, and then Ulsterman and personal Cherry favourite at the time Warren Feeney created a chance down the left side, before he cut back inside himself to finish the move and we were 3-0 up! The points were safe and we were playing some great football. Steve Fletcher did a Matt Le Tissier style take down and 20 yard shot which banged the crossbar and went out to safety. That would have been an awesome goal! 3-0 and our night was made. Nothing as an AFC Bournemouth fan could have got any better could it?

Then Wrexham went down to 9 men leaving themselves looking woefully out of their depth at the back and to help take advantage, star substitute from the Isle of Wight James Hayter came on as sub. This was when I witnessed football history being made! Hayter headed in the fourth goal with his first touch – a header in front of the North Stand. Then in the next 2 minutes and 20 second he scored another two goals!!! He had scored the fastest EVER hat-trick in football league history in front of our very eyes. The time just went by so quick. After the third goal went in my mate Dancing Andy (Andrew Stokes) lifted me up into the Boscombe sky. We were singing 6-0 up and we’re having a laugh. Hayter made all three goals look so easy. The first, an unmarked header, the second running through a non existence defence to slot the ball under the keeper, the third goal in almost identical situation this time Hayter banged it in off the post. At the time we were playing some amazing football (and indeed James Hayter would later score two more 1-0 winners in the upcoming weeks v. Notts County and Oldham Athletic as the chants became “Jamie Hayter is having a laugh”). Life as a football fan didn’t get any better. Six nil up breaking records, on the up and in the process helping the demise of Wrexham, who are now not even a league club sadly. Straight after the match we went back to The Dolphin where we all drank the £1 cherry shots that night to celebrate. A later trip to The Villa Nightclub ensued and suddenly a great night of pancakes and football was capped off brilliantly. Here’s to James Hayter and football’s fastest ever hat-trick. I’m pleased to say I was there that night to witness the football history.

Actually looking back it is still my favourite match at Dean Court…I can’t find the clips on the internet, but I do have the specially produced King James III video of the goals in my collection somewhere to reminisce any time I see fit…

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