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From today's Sun - Tim Buzaglo

9th January 2016

From today's Sun - Tim Buzaglo REWIND (Jan 9)
Jan 5, 1991
FA Cup 3rd Round

TIM BUZAGLO scored a stunning 13-minute hat-trick for FA Cup giantkillers Woking at West Brom 25 years ago - almost to the day. Here is his wonderful story.

By Tim Buzaglo

AS we were warming up before the match at The Hawthorns, the ball went out of play and I wandered over to the ballboy and asked him what he thought the score would be: “I reckon 5-0 to the Albion,” he said.

To be fair, he had a point. Although West Brom were in the middle of the second tier at that time we were in the Diadora League, four divisions below Albion. And being the ultimate pessimist I found myself agreeing with him!

Prior to the game, our manager Geoff Chapple said he didn’t need to give us a team talk because he had just been in the West Brom dressing room and they seemed incredibly relaxed sitting around reading newspapers. He said he thought they looked very complacent.

As a lifelong Chelsea fan I was being marked by former Blue Graham Roberts - so it meant quite a bit for me just to be playing on the same pitch. By the end, I don’t think he probably felt the same!

Albion were by far the better side in the opening half and Colin West gave them a deserved lead. However, the second period was a completely different story as we outplayed them. Just before the hour mark I equalised with a left-footed curler, six minutes later I ran through and somehow managed to head the rebounding ball off their keeper Mel Rees into the net and then finished off a fantastic move on 72 minutes with a diagonal left-foot drive.

A hat-trick in 13 minutes that left Albion all over the place. When sub Terry Worsfold made it 4-1 with three minutes remaining it was an incredible feeling. Darren Bradley hit a consolation.

There was a lot of unrest at the end from the home fans with booing and when a load of fans invaded the pitch I thought there was going to be trouble. Instead, the invading Albion supporters ran across to me and chaired me off the pitch chanting: “Sign him up, sign him up, sign him up!” It was a sublime moment.

Baggies boss Brian Talbot was sacked three days after this match. His No 2 at that time was none other than current Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce.

I have to confess I hated every moment from when we returned to the dressing room. I’m quite a shy person and wasn’t comfortable with all the attention. As far as I was concerned, we had won as a team and we were all heroes. The fact I scored three goals was down to unsung heroes like Dereck Brown who had assisted two of them.

I was whisked off to Radio 5 Live for interviews straight away and then was told Des Lynam wanted me to go on Match of the Day that night. I told everyone I didn’t want to do it, but eventually relented after a lot of persuasion.

I returned to work on the Monday, but had to go home early because the phone was constantly ringing asking me for interviews and when I got home someone at work had given out my home number so the phone was going nuts at home too!

In the fourth round we drew Everton away and out of the two games I preferred the trip to Goodison. We lost 1-0 to a Kevin Sheedy goal, but I hit the post and Dereck (Brown) had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to go on BBC’s Football Focus to talk about my hat-trick. Once more I said I wasn’t interested, but then my three daughters, Emily, Olivia and Jennie persuaded me to do it. Olivia is a good footballer herself and has played for Maidenhead.

I’m delighted to look back and remind the neutrals and the travelling army of Woking just how wonderful this match was. But I cannot emphasise enough that we won it as a team and my hat-trick was down to ten other teammates who worked their socks off to get the result.

These days I work as a caretaker and I am also involved in football coaching which I enjoy as much as playing.

WEST BROM: Rees, Shakespeare, Harbey (Palmer), Roberts, Bradley, Strodder, Ford, West, Bannister, McNally, Robson.

WOKING: Read, Mitchell, Cowler, Pratt, Baron, S Wye, Brown, Biggins, Franks (Worsfold), Buzaglo, L Wye.
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