MARK Boucker’s debut hat-trick was the ultimate reward for Tenbury United’s prolonged pursuit of the hotshot according to boss Nick Stocker.

Boucker, the scorer of 38 goals in 26 matches in Tenbury Town’s Herefordshire Division One title triumph last season, hit the ground running having crossed the divide over the summer.

His blistering start was the centrepiece of United’s 6-2 thumping of Leominster Town on their own patch in last Wednesday’s curtain-raiser.

Boucker’s treble arrived in a 20-minute spell and he was also involved in the own goal that handed Stocker’s men a 4-0 half-time lead at Briarwood Stadium.

Ryan Morris and Mike Foster made it six in the second half before the hosts grabbed a couple of late consolation strikes.

“Mark will probably take the headlines but the whole team was excellent,” said Stocker.

“Mike Foster played alongside Mark and was fantastic all evening. Other than his goal he got three assists which shows they have the makings of a decent partnership.

“We've managed to bring in a number of players to strengthen the squad and to keep together the majority of last year's side.

“It looks like we've lost Dale Withers which will be a massive blow but we have been able to bring in Lee Millichip, Rob Hill, James Green among others.

“Of course, the signing which has caused the biggest stir was that of Mark. We have been speaking to him for a number of years but until now he hadn't felt the time was right to make the move.

“As soon as we found out he was thinking about a change we couldn't let him slip away. Mark was top goalscorer in Division One last season and is exactly the type of player we have been missing.

“He has some good friends at the club which has helped him to settle in straight away and he already looks sharp and confident.”

The only drawback for United so far is a lack of action with their next scheduled fixture not taking place until September 16, something Stocker wants to remedy.

“We have a while until our next game because of people being away on holiday which is a shame,” he added.

“It would have been good to just keep on going. If anybody would like friendly between now and September 11, we're open to offers.

"It has been a good pre-season for us to be honest, we organised some tough games for the boys and they did really well so we are keen to keep everything moving if we can.”

On Saturday, Town kicked off their Premier Division campaign with a 3-1 home defeat to Westfields reserves (pictured).

Zak Farnell, Zac Sirrell and Lewis Quinsey put the visitors in command but keeper Kieran Field was sent off with 20 minutes to play for handball outside the box.

Declan Bright reduced the arrears for Tenbury but they could make no further inroads. Town entertain Malvern Town under-21s on Saturday (2.30).