Uttoxeter Town 8 v 2 Sandbach Reserves
TOMMY Smith cracked a double hat-trick as Uttoxeter Town swept aside struggling Sandbach United reserves at Oldfields on Saturday.
Former Rocester striker Smith made hay against a poor visiting defence as titlefavouries Town closed the gap on the leaders to two points.
If they win their games in hand, Mark Grimley’s talented outfit will go clear at the top of Staffordshire County Senior League Division One.
Town, undefeated so far in their debut season in Saturday football, were without the unavailable Alex Langridge, Mark Thompson and Chris Richards.
Steven Harris and Glyn Douglas were included in the squad for the first time this season.
Harris replaced Langridge in goal, with Dom Ward and Shaun Connelly brought in for Thompson and Richards.
It was a carbon copy start from the previous week for the hosts, with a Tommy Smith through ball in the second minute finding flying winger Rob Collins in space.
The left footer took one touch before finishing brilliantly to give Town an early lead.
Sandbach struggled to cope with the movement of Uttoxeter’s attackers, in particular leading scorer Smith who produced a wonder goal to double the hosts’ advantage with only five minutes on the clock.
Collins and Kyle Esplin worked the ball into the frontman with his back to goal and in one swift movement, Smith clipped the ball over the United centre back before delicately lobbing the onrushing keeper.
It was a moment of magic from the number nine, who looked unplayable at times in the opening exchanges, and it was Smith who laid on number three on 10 minutes.
The striker climbed highest to nod the ball on to strike partner Tom Harvey and the youngster made no mistake, justifying his selection with a fine right-footed finish at the near post.
Town were now rampant and although a dubious penalty award for handball saw Sandbach reduce the arrears on 17 minutes, Harris was more of a sweeper than goalkeeper for the rest of the half.
It was only a matter of time before the hosts increased their lead and it was Smith again, powering his way down the right before blasting home a fantastic finish from a tight angle after good work from winger Jack Holley.
Smith sensed the hat-trick was not far away and he was right when he notched his third on 33 minutes.
Skipper Martin Gadsby and Harvey linked well, leaving Smith through on goal.
Another superb finish from the striker capped a fine trio of goals.
The game was dead and buried as a contest, with Paddy Farrelly and Ward rarely threatened in defence and the only question was how many Town would go on to score against a poor Sandbach side.
The answer was three and all were finished by the excellent Smith, who completed a double hat-trick for the first time in his Saturday career.
All were fine finishes as Town produced their most consistent display of the season to put them 8-1 up.
The dying minutes brought another consolation for Sandbach who continued to work hard.
Town entertain Ashbourne United next Saturday with a 2pm kick-off at Oldfields against one of the league’s inform outfits.
TOWN: Harris, Beardsley, Farrelly, Ward, Connelly, Holley, Gadsby (Sowter 70), Esplin, Collins (Lamburn 75), Smith, Harvey (Caswell 77). Subs not used: Douglas, Metcalfe, Bagley.
NEW CENTURY CONSTRUCTION MAN OF THE MATCH: Tommy Smith — a superb double hat-trick from the striker.