Crystal Palace: Keshi Anderson's hat-trick that earned dream move

Keshi Anderson
Keshi Anderson was earning less than £200 a month at Barton Rovers

One moment you are playing in the eighth tier of English football. Six minutes and a hat-trick later, you are on your way to the Premier League.

Striker Keshi Anderson, 19, has scored 19 goals for Barton Rovers this season, but the three he notched in six minutes in a trial match against Crystal Palace last week were life-changing.

"Keshi went on trial at Brentford last Monday and played against Palace," Barton chairman Darren Whiley told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"He came off the bench after 65 minutes and within six minutes he had scored the perfect hat-trick.

"After that, Palace wanted him straight away."

Barton Rovers
Barton Rovers are 154 places below Crystal Palace on the football ladder

Earning £200 a month

On a transfer deadline day that saw Chelsea secure the £23.3m signing of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina, Anderson's move to Palace was always going to slip under the radar.

It may have only been a "five-figure sum", believed to be around £30,000, but Anderson - who earned less than £200 a month at Barton - will be swapping the Southern League Division One Central for the Premier League.

Barton-le-Clay, the tiny Bedfordshire town populated by 5,000 people, has never seen anything like it.

"We sold Paul Barnes to AFC Wimbledon in 2006. That was only the third player the club has ever sold," said Whiley.

"The registrations department at the FA don't know of another step-four player who has stepped up to the Premier League. They certainly couldn't recall registering one.

"Keshi was bouncing off the ceiling. It is a fairytale dream come true. This type of thing just doesn't happen."

The 'perfect' hat-trick

After failing to settle in the Watford academy as a youngster, Anderson, who lives in Luton, came through the youth ranks at Barton.

Cambridge United, Oxford United and Norwich City had all expressed an interest in the striker, until his hat-trick on trial with Brentford brought him to Palace's attention.

And it was not just any old hat-trick. A left-foot volley, a right-foot tap-in and a header - the 'perfect' hat-trick.

All against a veteran 31-year-old defender who has made over 150 appearances for Palace.

"Paddy McCarthy was playing in that game," said Whiley. "So he wasn't up against a muppet - and he scored three goals. That spoke volumes about his ability."

Barton Rovers
Barton Rovers' Sharpenhoe Road can hold 4,000 fans

Barton Rovers chairman Darren Whiley was speaking to BBC Three Counties Radio's Geoff Doyle.

Top Stories