NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Hot-shot Smith reaches milestone as Eynesbury Rovers set the record straight
- Credit: Archant
Eynesbury settled a score in style last Saturday . . . by equaling their biggest success of a memorable season.
Leading scorer, Craig Smith starred with a four-goal haul – which included a 10-minute hat-trick inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour – as second-placed Rovers slammed struggling Oadby 8-0, at Hall Road.
The thumping victory also provided a sweet slice of revenge after defeat in the reverse fixture in Leicestershire last month when Eynesbury boss Mark Ducket could only field a seriously depleted team.
But his high-fliers were back at full-strength for the return date and it showed in the scoreline as they closed to within six points of table-toppers Peterborough Sports.
“We had a score to settle – and we did it superbly,” admitted Ducket. “I endured a lot of profanity from the Oadby spectators when we lost there a few weeks earlier.
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“That made us all the more determined to set the record straight and we couldn’t have done it much more impressively - although a fair few chances went begging as well.”
Smith’s early treble was followed by a fourth goal from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half.
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He has now struck 22 times during a fine first season in Rovers colours – that’s one more goal than he managed for Peterborough Northern Star in the whole of last season.
Allan Owen also hit a brace against Oadby, who were reduced to 10 men just after the hour when suffering an injury with their two named substitutes already on the pitch.
Rovers showed no mercy as Tom Coles struck twice in quick succession to complete the scoring while defender Darren Woodend’s 250th appearance for the club came complete with a clean sheet.
Ducket added: “Craig has been exceptional. He is a rough diamond who is developing all of the time.
“We brought him in to be the 20-goal striker we needed, and it is a great achievement to have passed that milestone before Christmas.
“I don’t see any reason why he can’t go on and score 40, but the beauty of our team is that we’re not reliant on just one player for goals.
“We’re creating stacks of chances in the vast majority of games.”
Rovers make a pre-Christmas derby trip to bottom side Huntingdon on Friday before hosting Newport Pagnell on Boxing Day.