Jonte Smith back with a bang as hat-trick fires St George’s to success
St George’s 5 Hamilton Parish 2
Jonte Smith made a spectacular return to local football with a stunning hat-trick to help floor Hamilton Parish in a seven-goal thriller at Wellington Oval on Sunday.
Smith demonstrated his quality early with two goals inside the first twenty minutes and was more than a handful to the Parish defence with his size, strength, close ball skills and, most significantly, his ability to score.
“I enjoyed today,” said Smith. “It was nice for the team to get the win. We have some quality throughout the team, which showed and made a difference today.”
Formerly a professional footballer in England, Smith's movement between clubs overseas has taught him how to adapt to changing circumstances.
“A large part of football is adaptability and fortunately I’ve been able to play professionally in a few different countries, where you have to adapt,” said the star striker.
“We have some talented attacking players here and we’ve adapted and blended really well in training.”
Smith’s addition to the starting line-up provided immediate dividends in the tenth minute when a free kick by Kashe Hall was fumbled in the area and the ball fell to Smith, who composed himself before burying a low, left-foot drive past Julian Roser.
Six minutes later the striker doubled his side’s lead via a solo effort. Having gained possession deep on the right side, Smith deftly beat one man before unleashing a thunderous blast from an acute angle into the roof of the net.
Smith completed his hat-trick barely a minute into the second half when a searching cross from right side found him unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, leaving the striker the simple task of slotting the ball past Roser into right corner.
Parish did have their moments and were not out of it in the first half, with Macquille Walker responding to Smith’s early double-strike with a goal of his own in the 21st minute as he latched onto a ball up the middle and eluded one defender before finding the low, left corner past goalkeeper Zeko Burgess.
After Smith had restored a two-goal advantage moments after the break, St George’s went even further ahead from the penalty spot when Blaiz Hall was brought down by a stiff tackle from Casey Castle, who received a red card for his actions.
Captain Kashe Hall converted the 52nd minute spot kick to extend the lead, which was further lengthened in the 66th minute when Blaiz Hall received his just reward for a stellar showing when he completed another precise attack involving Malachi Trott and Smith.
Walker scored his second in the 84th minute as St George’s eased off the pedal.
“I think today was another good step in the right direction,” said St George’s coach Jarreau Hayward.
“We’re still coming together as a team, so any result where we can take three points is a positive one as we continue to gel the team and implement what we want to do with regard to style.”
Smith 10, 16, 46, K Hall 52, B Hall 66
Walker 21, 84
St. George’s Colts (4-1-4-1): Z Burgess 7 --- T Burgess 6, G Wade 6, D Signor 6, D Lodge 6 --- J Burgess 6 --- L Dill 5 (sub: K Wilson, 31 min 6), M Trott 7 (sub: J Brangman, 75), K Hall 7, B Hall 8 --- J Smith 9 (sub: J Dickinson, 72). Substitutes not used: E Signor, K Burton, P Anderson. Booked: T Burgess.
Hamilton Parish (4-3-2-1): J. Roser 5 -- M Hill (sub: C Castle, 17min 4), M Turner 5, J Bean 5, K Wade 5 --- J Outerbridge 5 (sub: S Albuoy, 68 5), S McKittrick 5, K Knights 5 --- S Hollis 6, A Nelson (sub: D McKittrick, 84) --- M Walker 7. Substitutes not used: P Tohill, J Steede, K Richardson. Sent off: C Castle.
Referee: M Wyer