Back in the Day: December 23rd - Dean Gordon Scores Hat-trick from Left-Back
Saturday 23rd December 1995
West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Crystal Palace
League Division One – Att: 13,098
Manager: Steve Coppell
Twas two days before Christmas and a festival miracle occurred at The Hawthorns. No, the miracle was not that Palace managed to win with Gareth Taylor in the side, the miracle was that a Palace full-back scored a hat-trick – step up, Dean Gordon.
The first of his treble came from the penalty spot on 15 minutes, he “squiffed” (see video below for the reference) the ball to the keeper's left and into the bottom corner, after Mike Phelan had handled in the area; “What was he doing?” asked the commentator.
The second would also come from the spot after 36 minutes, this time winning the penalty himself after a driving run into the penalty area. The ball was smashed down the middle and high into the roof of the net with Stuart Naylor, in the West Brom goal, guessing the same way as the first penalty.
The hat-trick was completed four minutes later. A Jamie Vincent corner was flicked on by Taylor, towards the back post, and Gordon headed backwards, lifting the ball over the defender on the line and into the top corner – “a magic moment for him.”
West Brom would make a game of it in the second half with goals from Andy Hunt (65) and Julian Darby (85) but Palace would hold on and send the fans home with a win for Christmas.
“It was a great day for me and I’ll never forget it.”
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