Smith bags a first-half hat-trick for Saints in nine-goal thriller

Saints fans are certainly getting their money’s worth as Lee Knibbs’ side followed up their five goals against Alvis the previous week with a 6-3 win over Littleton, writes David Hucker.

Simeon Smith scores the first of his three goals in Southams 6-3 Les James Challenge Cup win over Littleton. 
MHLC-05-10-13 Southam United Oct 29
Simeon Smith scores the first of his three goals in Southams 6-3 Les James Challenge Cup win over Littleton. MHLC-05-10-13 Southam United Oct 29

With a number of players unavailable, Knibbs called up Josh Turton from the reserve team to join the defence, with Oli Manoochehri and Simeon Smith spearheading the attack.

Smith has been in red-hot form of late and he added to his seasonal tally with a first-half hat-trick, the first coming after just three minutes when a Manoochehri shot came back off a defender and he rifled the ball low into the corner past keeper Josh Gandy.

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Littleton were back on level terms when Kyonn Evans shot powerfully past Kieran Conway from the edge of the area after being picked out from a short corner.

Simeon Smith scores the first of his three goals in Southams 6-3 Les James Challenge Cup win over Littleton. MHLC-05-10-13 Southam United Oct 29

Saints regained the lead within a minute as Smith pounced to score from close range.

Littleton almost levelled when Conway needed two attempts to hold Martin Slevin’s shot but they did get their second in the 12th minute as Evans was again given too much room to beat Conway with another powerful strike.

Gandy comfortably held a Smith header from a Danny Wylde cross before Slevin put a shot well wide.

It did not take long for another goal to come as Stuart Hall fed Jamie Insall, who turned and hit a low shot into the corner to put the visitors ahead.

Saints’ third was not long in coming, however, as Jamie Coleman delivered a long cross from the left and Brad Rees was waiting at the far post to send a looping header over Gandy and into the top corner.

There was still time for Smith to finish off a good move involving Joss Holford and Tom Muldoon to make it 4-3 on the stroke of half-time.

After the break, Darren Hicks drew a full-length save from Conway but, almost immediately, Muldoon sent over a precision cross to Simon Hicks who headed home past Gandy.

Calum Clarke then skimmed the Saints bar with a strong drive and Rees went close after being set up by Holford.

With two minutes remaining, Ben Tennant launched a long ball down the left which central defender Richard Tomkins seemed to have under control but, under pressure from Smith, his attempted back-pass went wide of Gandy and in off the post for number six.

Tomorrow, Saints return to league action when they host Pilkington XXX (3pm) and they are at home again on Tuesday when Studley are the visitors (7.45pm).