Hairy moment: Smith dreams of Wembley

  • Pole position: Jonté Smith, right, joins the celebrations after contributing to Cheltenham Town’s second goal in a 2-0 win away to Northampton Town in the first leg of the Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-finals on Thursday (Photograph courtesy of Gloucestershire Live)

    Pole position: Jonté Smith, right, joins the celebrations after contributing to Cheltenham Town’s second goal in a 2-0 win away to Northampton Town in the first leg of the Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-finals on Thursday (Photograph courtesy of Gloucestershire Live)


Jonté Smith is happy to appear as a woolly mammoth if it means he can realise a dream of walking out for a Wembley final.

The Bermuda striker was speaking the morning after helping Cheltenham Town take a stranglehold of their Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final tie against Northampton Town on Thursday.

The 25-year-old saw his first competitive action since March because of the global pandemic and was unrecognisable until a familiar run and shot that led to the second goal, which has put Cheltenham in such a strong position going into the return leg in home confines at Whaddon Road on Monday.

“In terms of my hair being longer than it’s ever been, I would love to get a haircut, but we’re being tested for Covid-19 every two or three days,” Smith said of his “new normal” appearance.

“If I were to test positive, I’d have to isolate myself from the team, which would mean missing these important games. I’ve worked hard to have this type of opportunity and I don’t want to put myself at risk at the moment. I’d happily have an Afro if it meant winning the play-offs at Wembley!”

The 2-0 win on enemy territory continued a good run for Cheltenham against Northampton, extending their unbeaten head-to-head sequence to five matches.

Northampton enjoyed the upper hand for long periods, and even had a first-half penalty that was saved, but they were repelled by a visiting side who defended admirably and cashed in on their few opportunities.

“It was a good all-round team performance,” Smith said. “We made the most of our big moments — the penalty save and our chances in and around goal.”

He added: “It was a bit cagey at first, which you would expect, but we stuck to our game plan and executed it quite well. A 2-0 lead is always good to take back home, but we won’t take it lightly. They’ll come out and give everything in the second leg.”

Cheltenham had one of the better home records in League Two before Covid-19 brought football to a halt, with only two defeats in 18 matches. Any repeat of that form would take them into a Wembley final against Exeter City or Colchester United on June 29.

But, like Northampton, they will have no supporters to roar them on.

Smith admits the atmosphere was a bit surreal but saw some benefits, especially with the match televised by Sky Sports nationally and in many countries worldwide — including Bermuda.

“It was definitely different, but with all of the TV cameras, the build-up and preparation for the game, it felt as important as the game should,” he said.

“The atmosphere is obviously a big miss, but there’s also the slight benefit that you can hear your team-mates and your manager’s instructions a bit clearer!

“The fans were definitely missed, but I’m glad that they’re still able to watch and cheer us on. Hopefully, they’ll be back in the stadium sooner rather than later.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Jun 20, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 20, 2020 at 7:00 am)

Hairy moment: Smith dreams of Wembley

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    • "Where is institutional racism in Bermuda most prevalent?"
    • Criminal justice system
    • 16%
    • Education
    • 23%
    • Employment opportunities
    • 39%
    • Healthcare
    • 3%
    • Housing
    • 5%
    • Income
    • 14%
    • Total Votes: 4776
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts