Soccer

Smith thrilled to get off the mark

  • Up and running: Jonté Smith wheels away after scoring for Cheltenham Town in their 3-0 win over Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two at the weekend

(Photograph courtesy of Cheltenham Town)

Jonté Smith says he is elated to have finally opened his league goalscoring account in Cheltenham Town’s 3-0 win away to Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two at the weekend.

The Bermuda forward broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute, rising unchallenged to head the ball past goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik from a fine Jake Doyle-Hayes cross.

“I’ve seen Doyle get the ball and he has great vision for a pass and I just knew he’d find me if I could run off the back of the defender,” the 25-year-old told the club’s website. “He’s put it exactly where I wanted it to be.”

Smith was one of three changes Michael Duff, the Cheltenham manager, made to his match-day squad and took his opportunity by netting his fourth goal for the club.

He scored a hat-trick against West Ham United Under-21 in the EFL Trophy in October.

“My first league goal has been a long time coming and I’m just thankful that it’s finally happened,” Smith said.

“I’ll probably try and keep that video and probably watch it over and over. I know my parents back home and a few friends and family would like to see it as well. I’m happy that I can do this for them because I know they’ve been supporting me for so long now.”

Will Boyle doubled Cheltenham’s advantage after the break before Alex Addai secured the three points with Smith involved in the build-up to the goal.

“Happy for Alex as well,” Smith said. “He’s like the Dwight Yorke to my Andy Cole and I love him to bits. I’m just thankful. Every one of the players ran their socks off and you could see even at 90 minutes everyone was still running around chasing the ball. It’s a fantastic feeling when a team is that together and are going to work hard for each other.

“It felt like we were in control for large parts of the game.

“They had their spells as well, but I felt like we were quite solid defensively and we kept a good shape throughout the game and that helped us get the three points. It was a great away performance from the whole team.”

Cheltenham are fourth in the table with 34 points from 19 games and have a game in hand on Forest Green Rovers, who are third on 35 points in the final automatic promotion spot.

Smith has played for six clubs in three different countries since being released by Crawley Town in 2014. He had two goal-laden years in Scandinavia at Kemi Kings of Finland and Norwegian side Floy before returning to England in 2015 after joining Gloucester City in the Vanarama National League North.

Smith has also had non-League spells with Welling United and Lewes, and also made an substitute appearance for League One side Oxford United last season.