Daniel Sparkes hit a hat-trick as Braintree Town crush Torquay 5-1

Matt Paine makes sure the ball ends up in the Torquay net.

Matt Paine makes sure the ball ends up in the Torquay net. - Credit: Archant

Daniel Sparkes smashed a hat-trick as Braintree Town condemned Torquay United to their biggest home league defeat in almost 20 years on Tuesday night.

Sparkes scored either side of a John Campbell equaliser to put the visitors ahead at half time.

And he completed his hat-trick with a left-footed shot before Matt Paine and Ryan Peters secured a win for Braintree on their first visit to Torquay.

The Gulls had not lost as heavily at home since going down to a club-record 8-1 loss to Scunthorpe in October 1995.

Braintree moved into 15th place in the Conference, with the Gulls dropping to 17th.

The Iron now face Telford next Tuesday.