A GOALKEEPER stunned a soccer crowd with an 85-yard wonder goal - but then confessed later it was his hat-trick of soaraway strikes.

Chris Hill, the 26-year-old Harrogate Town keeper, dropped the ball on to his foot for the mighty punt from his own penalty spot.

Then he watched in amazement as it bounced in the opposite penalty area before hitting the back of the net, leaving his rival keeper Henry Smith stranded and bewildered.

Hill, a self-employed pneumatic engineer from Brandesburton, near Beverley, said: "I just knew the ball had that special ping about it as soon as it left my boot. I just thought that's heading for the net - and it was."

Hill, a former Hull City player, admitted it had been helped on its airborne journey by the wind, but was still delighted by his first goal for the North Yorkshire side.

But when colleagues congratulated him on his strike later they discovered he had twice scored as a goalkeeper from similar long distance efforts before.

The first came from his trusty boot while playing for Bridlington Town eight years ago and the other six years ago as a North Ferriby goalkeeper.

"I have been called on as goalkeeper to take penalties before but there's something special about scoring from the other end of the pitch," said Hill.

After his goal the Harrogate crowd started chanting a hastily arranged ditty calling on another super strike from their new-found hero.

His team boss Mick Hennigan, the former Leeds United coach, said: "I've seen this happen just once before in 40 years of football."

And Harrogate's assistant manager John Reed said: "I couldn't believe it when Chris said he had done this twice before."

Hill, who joined Harrogate last summer from Bridlington Town, did not manage to end up on the winning side. His team were pegged back for a 2-2 draw against Gretna in Division One of the Unibond League at Wetherby Road.