FOOTBALL: Brownhill hits treble for Tulips
New signing Joel Brownhill fired a hat-trick to highlight a tremendous team performance by Spalding United on Saturday.
The Tulips inflicted a first league defeat of the season on Stocksbridge Park Steels - despite travelling with an injury-hit squad.
Brownhill, brother of captain Lewis, provided the spark which has been missing in the front line so far this term.
The first of his three successful strikes came in the 20th minute and he added to his tally early in the second half from the spot.
Steels reduced the arrears on 72 minutes through Luke Mangham's penalty after James Hugo had been harshly punished for handball.
The two-goal margin was restored 10 minutes from full-time as Brownhill completed his treble.
However, the man-of-the-match award went to Neal Spafford in the heart of the defence.
Tulips manager Matt Easton said: "It was fairly convincing and we played some good football by knocking it around.
"We are delighted with four points from two away games against Ilkeston Town and Stocksbridge Park Steels over the past week.
"We've got players missing so we were hoping George Zuerner could continue for as long as possible and Lewis was also struggling.
"They shouldn't have played but the injury list has come at the wrong time with back-to-back games every week.
"It wouldn't have made a big difference if this had happened in October when we have two weeks without a fixture.
"We didn't want to add to the squad because we made a decision to go into the season with a smaller group and you must accept that injuries will happen.
"But Lewis told us that his brother had been released by Northwich Victoria and he would be prepared to help out.
"He has done a great job up front and defences struggle to contain him. He took all three goals very well on Saturday."
Taron Hare started the move which led to the opener and Brownhill doubled the lead after Zuerner was upended.
Steels were back in the hunt until Kegan Everington’s corner was helped on by Ben Richards for Brownhill to complete the scoring.
More by this authorMark Lea