MATCH VERDICT AND VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Hat-trick joy for Jackson
Jamie Jackson opened his account for Spalding United with a clinical hat-trick.
In his sixth appearance since joining the Tulips last month, the striker finally found the target.
Jackson’s performances have been impressive – but this time he put his name on the scoresheet in the absence of top marksman Gary King.
He got off the mark with the only moment of quality in Saturday’s first half.
Jenk Acar found space and fed the ball to Jordan Lemon who produced a right-wing cross which Jackson swept in at the near post.
Jackson doubled his tally by knocking in Acar’s centre to secure the man-of-the-match honours.
In stoppage-time, he was in the right place again to fire home following saves which had kept out Jordan Neil and Jonny Lockie.
Jackson’s strike partner Lockie looked desperate to get involved and take a chance to impress in only his third start of the season.
The departure of Devante Reittie has offered another opportunity for Lockie in a central role.
His hold-up play certainly needs improvement but the effort can’t be questioned if he continues to chase the ball and show pace which will put defenders under plenty of pressure.
Lockie was only denied by Sheffield skipper Richard Adams’ last-gasp challenge at the start of the second half.
But the youngster should have done much better with a golden chance when he put a shot wide of the near post.
Jackson showed how it’s done and Lockie must learn to convert those chances.
Although it was far from pretty in terms of any kind of entertainment, credit goes to Spalding for a hard-fought victory.
They had to cope with a hat-trick of injury blows as central midfielders Conor Marshall and Lee Beeson were forced off, along with Neal Spafford at the heart of the defence.
Paul Walker changed his role twice, Lemon spent the final half an hour in central midfield, Jack Fixter came on at right-back while under-21 players Matt Clarke and Neil played their part as well.
The task looked easier as Sheffield striker Grant Ryan was dismissed on the hour mark for violent conduct in an off-the-ball incident with Tulips captain Adam Jackson.
The clash came soon after Ricardo German missed the chance of an equaliser within 30 seconds of his debut as a substitute.
But the world’s first club suffered their fifth defeat in eight away league games.
4-4-2: Duggan 6; Walker 7, Spafford 7 (sub Neil 58 mins, 6), Humble 7, A Jackson 7; Lemon 7, Beeson 6 (sub Clarke 49 mins, 6), Marshall 6 (sub Fixter 34 mins, 6), Acar 7; J Jackson 8, Lockie 7. Subs not used: Millington, Smith.
4-2-3-1: Bilboe; Turner (sub Koroma 81 mins), Hadfield, Adams, Brown; Robson (sub German 56 mins), Finlaw; Algar, Brownell (sub Yates h-t), Gregory; Ryan. Subs not used: Cooksey, Dawes.
J Jackson (34 mins, 1-0); J Jackson (84 mins, 2-0); J Jackson (90 mins, 3-0).
Ryan (violent conduct).
Turner, Brown, Lemon (fouls); Beeson (failing to retreat 10 yards).
Jamie Jackson – finally off the mark in his sixth appearance with three clinical strikes from close range which earned three points in a poor quality game.
Gresley (H) – Integro League Cup first round, Tuesday.