Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield admitted he was left stunned when Jermain Defoe laid on his first ever professional hat-trick.
Defoe needs just three more strikes to take his career tally to 300 but opted to tee up Arfield when through on goal against Motherwell on Sunday.
That allowed the 30-year-old to wrap up his maiden treble and Rangers’ 3-0 win over Stephen Robinson’s team at Fir Park.
And the former England striker’s unselfish act did not go unnoticed by Arfield.
The Canada international – who was making his 478th senior appearance of a career that started out at Falkirk 12 years ago – said: “That was the first hat-trick of my career.
“What took me so long? I’ve been thinking that myself. I very much enjoyed it.
“Motherwell have drastically changed in comparison to how they played before, when they were more direct.
“Now they’ve got good footballers in there so we knew we could exploit them in the back end and thankfully the three chances came as a result of us pressing high and we put them away.
“I can’t believe Jermain passed it to be honest. If I wasn’t on two goals he wasn’t passing to me, not a chance, but fair play to him – no-one in the stadium expected him to pass it and he did and I thank him for it.
“I’ve hit four doubles in my career and this is my first treble. My last hat-trick at any level was playing for Murieston Boys Club.
“I used to score them consistently back then but none of you were watching in those days. I once scored six in a game, but I was decent back then. I don’t know what has happened since.”
All three of Arfield’s goals came from Motherwell mistakes but defender Tom Aldred insists Robinson’s side will continue with their new risky gameplan.
The defender – whose blunder led to the first goal in the 22nd minute – said: “The goals are disappointing from our point of view.
“Two have come from what we’ve been trying to do, which is playing out from the back.
“There was an element of luck with the first one. It felt like it just hit me in a place that puts him (Arfield) in control of the situation.
“When you play out from the back sometimes you’re going to obviously take risks.
“It hasn’t faltered since we started playing out from the back but it’s errors that cost you and if you give the ball away in areas like we did today then you get punished against the kind of top players like they have.”
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