CANADIAN international and former Premier League striker Simeon Jackson hit a hat-trick as York City reserves crashed to a 7-1 Central League defeat at Walsall.

Ex-Norwich forward Jackson was joined on the scoresheet by Will Shorrock (two), Jordon Sangha and Dan Vann, while City youth-team scholar Flynn McNaughton scored his side’s late consolation.

The Minstermen included five players with first-team experience – Luke Simpson, Jassem Sukar, Theo Wharton, Tyler Walton and Sam Muggleton.

But Walsall featured nine in their starting line-up with senior appearances to their name this term for the League One side and, now operating three tiers above City, the hosts, coached by former Bootham Crescent boss John Ward, made that gulf in class show.

Walsall asserted themselves from the start with Simpson gathering a deflected Maz Kouyhar shot and centre-back Shaun Donnellan heading over from Shorrock’s left-wing cross.

Jackson, who has represented his country 49 times, also drove over from 25 yards before the Saddlers forged in front on 14 minutes.

A Kouyhar pass picked out Shorrock’s charge into the penalty box and he gave Simpson no chance with his precise 15-yard low shot.

Shorrock went on to double the lead just two minutes later with a simple finish after being teed up by Jackson following a poor clearance by Simpson.

Moments later, powerful home striker Daniel Agyei curled narrowly wide from 20 yards, but it was 3-0 to the Midlanders before the half-hour mark.

Impressive central-midfielder Reece Flanagan released Shorrock down the right.

His cross was met by Jackson at the far post and, after his first attempt was blocked by City’s Josh Rogerson, the 30-year-old forward went on to beat Simpson from three yards.

Wharton managed the Minstermen’s only goal attempt of the first half when he showed purpose to work his way to the edge of the box, but his low shot was safely gathered by Mark Gillespie.

The hosts were then swiftly back on the front foot with Flanagan setting up Kouyhar for a curling 20-yard effort that he rattled against the bar.

Simpson also made a couple of smart saves to deny Jackson before the break, but Walsall added two more goals within five minutes of the restart.

First, Sangha swept home from 12 yards despite Zac Lawrence’s attempt to clear off the line after Donnellan had headed down a Flanagan corner.

Then, from another Flanagan flag kick, Vann beat Simpson with a free header.

At the other end, Gillespie was forced into his second save of the afternoon when Muggleton’s free kick caught the strong wind, but Jackson glanced a header past Simpson from Shorrock’s cross to make it 6-0 midway through the half.

For City, McNaughton shot well wide after cutting in from the left, before Jackson completed his hat-trick on 83 minutes, bursting through the right channel and holding off Sukar before firing across goal into the bottom corner.

McNaughton did at least manage an emphatic reply two minutes later, crashing a powerful shot in off Gillespie’s right-hand post from 12 yards, while Muggleton’s late free kick was safely caught by the home keeper.

City: Simpson, Thompson, Rogerson, Sukar, Lawrence (Berry, 68), Jackson, Wharton, Walton, Muggleton, Haswell (Kemp, 84), McNaughton.