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Dream debut for hat-trick hero Norwood

Forest Green Rovers striker James Norwood struck a hat-trick on his England C debut — although he believed the 6-1 scoreline slightly flattered the visitors.

Norwood, 22, enjoyed a dream first appearance for England C, plundering three goals in the second half to inspire Paul Fairclough’s new-look team to a emphatic victory over a disjointed Bermuda.

And while Norwood maintained England C’s extra quality in the final third ultimately proved the difference, he believed Bermuda could still take plenty of heart from their display.

“I think the result was quite unflattering (for Bermuda) but it showed how well we took our chances,” he said.

“They had some great strikes at goal but our keeper was equal to them.

“I was impressed with Bermuda, very impressed, and I know they have been climbing the world rankings.

“We all know about Nahki Wells, while Jonte Smith has been doing well — he was at (my former club) Eastbourne Borough on loan.”

Despite England C including 14 newcomers in their travelling party, Norwood said the team felt cohesive and should be confident ahead of their upcoming International Challenge Trophy campaign.

“We’ve only trained for a few days but the standard was top quality and we’ve got to learn a lot about each other,” he said. “Everyone has done themselves justice for another call-up.

“We need to maintain this kind of form to stay in the squad, but if it’s the same squad going into the (International Challenge Trophy) then I definitely fancy our chances. There were only two lads who have played for England C before and I think we gelled perfectly.”

Norwood thanked his strike partner Andre Gray of Luton for offering him the penalty for England C’s fifth goal to complete his hat-trick.

“I was a dream debut and I can’t believe it to be honest,” he said. “I’m just thankful Andre (Gray) gave me the penalty — that was really nice of him and at least I got to set him up for his goal.”

He added: “The trip (to Bermuda) has been different and it’s something we’ve all dreamed about really. This sort of thing happens at the top clubs and it’s given the boys a taste of what we can have.

“Last season (at Forest Green) was a lot better for me; I got a lot more goals and assists and I felt my overall game came on nicely. Hopefully I can build on it next season.”

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Published June 05, 2013 at 6:00 pm (Updated June 05, 2013 at 9:06 am)

Dream debut for hat-trick hero Norwood

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