Smith off to flying start with Lewes
Jonté Smith marked his debut for English non-League side Lewes with two goals in their 3-1 win at home to Canvey Island in the Ryman League at the weekend.
Smith joined Lewes from fellow non-League outfit Gloucester City on a non-contract basis last week, with the Bermuda striker hoping to make a return to the Football League next season.
The 21-year-old made ten appearances for Gloucester City, who play in the Vanarama National League North, scoring four goals.
Darren Freeman, the Lewes manager, said he believed Smith’s goal threat would be a huge boost to Lewes’ chances of surviving relegation.
“We’re delighted to have been able to sign Jonté,” said Freeman, whose side are bottom of the table.
“He’s played League football and consistently scored goals wherever he’s been, so it’s a real coup for the club.
“With George [Landais] out with a knee injury, we were in need of another striker, so signing Jonté comes at just the right time.”
Smith had two early chances against Canvey saved by former Lewes goalkeeper Conor Gough, scoring in the 31st minute, cutting inside his man before firing low past Gough after Alex Malins had headed the ball across goal.
Ashley Dumas equalised for the visiting side 12 minutes later from a free kick that went under the wall and beat goalkeeper Chris Winterton at his near post.
With 30 minutes of the match remaining, Lewes pulled ahead when substitute Alex Laing chased what looked to be a lost cause, beating the goalkeeper to the ball and placing his shot beyond the defender on the line.
Smith, who was named man of the match, settled the game with another smart finish late on, reacting the quickest to a blocked shot and smashing the rebound home.
Smith had loan stints at non-League sides Met Police, Havant & Waterlooville and Eastern Borough during his time at Crawley Town, then of Sky Bet League One, where he made four appearances. He then had a brief spell at Kemi Kings in Finland before moving to Floy in the Norwegian second division.
Lewes, who have 18 points from 30 games this season, are at home to second-placed Dulwich Hamlet on Wednesday.
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