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Striker Smith hails father’s influence

Fatherly advice: Smith’s training sessions with father, Clay Smith, are paying off

Tireless hours of practising free kicks with his father paid off for Jonté Smith who scored his first goal for Gloucester City at the weekend.

The Bermuda striker got his name on the scoresheet during Gloucester’s 4-2 FA Cup second-round qualifying tie at home to ten-man Kidlington at the weekend.

Smith scored in the 41st minute with a long-range free kick that the visiting goalkeeper, with the sun in his face, mishandled.

“We got a free kick about 35 yards out and I stepped up to take it,” Smith, who is the son of Clay Smith, the former Bermuda cricket captain, said. “Fortunately it ended up in the back of the net.

“I’ve scored a few free kicks so far in my career, but this was definitely the best one. I have to really thank my dad for all the tireless hours of working on techniques to take free kicks which paid off.”

The 21-year-old striker repaid Tim Harris, the Gloucester manager, for giving him his first start since joining from Norway’s Floy IL by notching his first goal for the English non-League club.

“I’m extremely happy to have scored my first goal for Gloucester City in my first start,” Smith said. “Despite the win, we made hard work out of what could have been a more relaxed fixture, we scored two quick goals with fifteen minutes to go and it caused a bit of a panic, but we are happy to be in the next round.”

Smith, who was substituted in the 71st minute, also had an effort disallowed and headed over from close range.

Smith also impressed on his debut for Gloucester, who played in the Vanarama National Football League North, the previous weekend after coming on as a second-half substitute in their 2-0 home defeat against Gainsborough Trinity.