Hat-trick hero Callum Robinson has thanked Preston North End team-mate Kevin Davies for a helping hand in allowing him to complete his treble against Havant and Waterlooville.
The teenager’s third goal in the 3-0 FA Cup victory at Westleigh Park came from the penalty spot after a shot from Robinson was handled on the line by Hawks defender Warren Cummings.
Davies was on penalty duty but instead allowed his young colleague to do the business from 12 yards.
It meant that Davies’ wait for the 150th goal of his career goes on.
Robinson told the Evening Post: “I didn’t realise at the time that Kevin could have scored his 150th goal had he taken the penalty.
“Straight away he said I could take the penalty for my hat-trick – I thanked him for that and I’ll thank him again.
“Kevin is a great player to play with in the team and in training.
“It was my first hat-trick in senior football so was a very special moment.
“The other hat-trick I have got came for Aston Villa’s Under-21s last season.
“That was in a 6-3 win against Newcastle at Burton Albion’s ground. I enjoyed scoring that one but obviously Monday night’s was a lot more satisfying.
“I had my family and friends watching live on television, which made it even nicer.”
Robinson, who is on loan from Aston Villa until January – a spell which PNE hope to extend through to the end of the season – was keen to catch the eye on Monday, having been left on the bench for the 1-0 loss at Swindon last week.
Even before his seventh-minute opener he had already tested Havant goalkeeper Ryan Young.
Said Robinson: “I was really up for the game as I hadn’t been involved against Swindon. I just wanted to go out, do my best and be a threat which I was.
“With the first goal, a few of the lads would have gone mad if I hadn’t have scored it because they were looking for a cross from me.
“The keeper went to position himself to try and read the cut-back and I was able to find a gap to score at the near post.
“For the second goal, I knew that Paul Gallagher has got a good cross in him so I just gambled and met it on the volley.
“I don’t tend to score many goals from crosses and that is something we have been working hard on in training.
“That is four goals for me now and hopefully there will be more to come in the league to help our promotion push. I’m really enjoying it here. The lads have made me feel very welcome.”
Robinson, 19, became the first PNE player to score an away hat-trick in the FA Cup for more than 87 years – George Harrison did so in a 4-2 win at Lincoln City in January 1927. The North End squad were back at Springfields yesterday for a recovery session following the victory over Havant.
They will now turn their attention to Saturday’s clash with Bradford City at Deepdale.