SHAUN MacDonald made his long-awaited comeback from injury but hat-trick man Charlie Sheringham stole the show as Cherries reserves earned a convincing 5-0 win at Seward Stadium yesterday.

MacDonald displayed some neat touches and threw himself into a few wholehearted challenges during a productive 45-minute work-out.

The Welsh central midfielder came through unscathed and showed no signs of the toe problem that had kept him on the sidelines for more than two-and-a-half months.

But despite that positive news, it was the clinical Sheringham that took centre stage as he grabbed the opportunity to press his claims for a place in Lee Bradbury’s first team.

Boss Bradbury might seriously consider taking another look at trialist Jorge Larena after the 30-year-old Spanish midfielder also stood out in a dominant victory for a Cherries team that included a number of senior professionals.

Cherries immediately took control of the contest through first-half goals from Sheringham and Lyle Taylor.

Sheringham added his second and then turned provider for the lively Larena to make it four, before completing his treble from close range.

On the back of four consecutive defeats in this season’s Football Combination Southern Section, the Dorset outfit never looked like suffering a fifth as they produced some good attacking football to overcome Crawley.

In tough conditions, the hosts made an enterprising start.

Taylor whipped over a free-kick before Larena offered the first real moment of quality, his fierce 25-yard drive forcing Michel Kuipers into an acrobatic parry.

Shwan Jalal showed good handling to gather an effort from Crawley frontman Michael Doughty when the visitors got on the front foot.

But it was Cherries who were rewarded for their bright opening in the 16th minute. After Kuipers had failed to hold a long-range shot from Michael Symes, Taylor reacted quickly to collect the rebound and cleverly backheel into the path of Sheringham, who tapped home.

Cherries then doubled their advantage with a delightful goal seven minutes before the interval. Link-up play between Larena and Taylor helped create an opening for the latter, who beat Kuipers at his near post with a powerful, low strike.

The hosts should have further extended their lead when Sheringham sliced wide after being picked out by over-lapping left-back Paddy Hester.

Sheringham got his second from six yards after good work by Taylor on the hour mark.

The former Dartford man then flicked on a long ball from Jalal to send Larena clear, the trialist taking the chance to show his skills by firing home an excellent finish via the far post.

Jalal was rarely troubled as Cherries controlled the game.

Larena was substituted late on to deserved applause from the home crowd before Sheringham had the final say, again demonstrating his poaching skills to convert for his hat-trick.

Cherries: (4-4-2) Jalal; Bowles, Cooper, Zubar, Hester; Larena (Cargill, 82), MacDonald (Wakefield, h-t), Molesley (Strugnell, h-t), Taylor; Sheringham, Symes. Unused subs: Goodship, Tierney (g/k).