A HAT-TRICK from Jimmy Spencer ensured that Farsley Celtic netted a 4-0 win at Grantham Town – and remained top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division with three games remaining.

Both sides had half chances early on and there was a fifth-minute yellow card for Celts’ skipper Danny Ellis, for a foul on Grantham striker Jamie Jackson, before Dave Syers was forced off through injury.

Farsley’s former Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers midfielder Syers took a blow to the head inside the first quarter hour and Celts boss Adam Lakeland shuffled his formation.

FC Halifax Town youngster Kwame Boateng, on loan at Farsley, replaced Syers and went into the back five with Ben Atkinson moving into midfield.

It didn’t affect the visitors too much and they took a 26th-minute lead when a cross from Will Hayhurst was converted at the far post by Spencer.

It was the only goal of the first half but a rapid brace from the striker soon after the break took the game away from the Gingerbreads.

Just two minutes into the second half, Spencer slotted past Grantham keeper Sam Andrew after a through ball from Atkinson, and he netted a thunderous drive three minutes later.

The home side made three substitutions soon after and the changes interrupted the rhythm of the game.

Lakeland introduced his other two options from the bench midway through the second period and one of them provided the assist for the final goal.

Luke Parkin replaced Paul Walker and Spencer was withdrawn – possibly with Tuesday’s League Cup Final in mind – with Isaac Baldwin coming on.

Parkin had a shot ten minutes from time after an excellent through ball by Boateng, and after his effort was parried by Sheridan the ball was tucked home by Nathan Cartman.

Lakeland said: “It was a great performance by everybody but obviously Jimmy will get all of the plaudits for his hat-trick and what a great hat-trick it was – his third goal in particular was a great one.

“To score four goals away and keep a clean sheet at a place where some good teams have come unstuck is always a great result. We’re in a good position with just three games to play but that can change very quickly.”

Brighouse Town boosted they play-off hopes with a 2-0 away win that kept them in fourth place in Division One East.

Vill Powell’ men travelled to Pickering Town and, although the Pikes are a lowly 15th, they made it difficult for Town at Mill Lane. The first half in particular was very tight but Powell’s men snatched a slender lead.

A good break down the left flank and subsequent cross from Zeph Thomas led to Aaron Martin breaking the deadlock on the half hour mark.

A substitution on the hour mark saw Tyler Williams coming off the bench to replace Tom Robinson. And it was Williams who squared the ball for Kurt Harris to net Town’s second in the 76th minute.