Stenhousemuir 1 St Mirren 3: Smiling Smith can't wait to start season

Jack Smith fired the Warriors into an early lead against a strong St Mirren side at Ochilviewand although a David Clarkson double and John Sutton counter ensured victory for the visitors, the 21 year old striker remained upbeat.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 11th July 2016, 2:14 pm
Updated Monday, 11th July 2016, 3:32 pm
St Mirren saw off Stenhousemuir at Ochilview
St Mirren saw off Stenhousemuir at Ochilview

Smith took advantage of a 13th minute Gary Irvine slip to bore into the right side of the box before displaying great composure to hit across Scott Gallacher and in at the far post.

“It was a great ball form Colin (McMenamin),” the striker told Heraldsport, “I saw the keeper’s position and decided to hit it for the back post and it was great to see it go in.”

Saints boss Alex Rae fielded his first team squad in preparation for the serious stuff starting next week, but ‘Muir were well worth their lead and Smith felt the scoreline did not tell the full story.

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“It was a strong team they put on the field, but I thought we matched them all over the park,” he continued, “The goals we lost were a bit sloppy, but we are a new squad and are still working to improve as a team. Over all though, I thought we played well and it was good to score from a personal point of view.

“I hope to score more when the season starts for real and help the team out.”

Smith does not have the height of his father, Andy, the former Premier League striker, but his pace unsettled the visitors throughout and he was a thorn in their side.

For one so young he already has an impressive CV having started his career with the “Buddies”, “I was three years there and got offered a new contract,” he went on, “I wanted to play regularly though and decided to go to East Fife. I only got six months, however, as the manager was sacked and Gary Naysmith told me he wanted to bring in his own players, which is fair enough.”

The next move to Morton was hardly a stroke of luck either, “They were struggling against relegation and wanted to use experience, so I was not likely to get much game time,” he said, “Signed for East Kilbride in the Lowland League and, of course scored to put Stenny out of the Scottish cup.

“I didn’t think then that I’d be playing for them this season. I was delighted to accept the offer when it came though, it is a great wee set-up here, the club is ambitious and the dressing room is terrific. Like everybody else, I am buzzing and desperate for the season to begin.”

Jamie MCormack was no more than inches offside when he headed home a Stephen Stirling free-kick in the 32nd minute as the Warriors continued to impress, but the writing was on the wall six minutes later when the Championship team levelled.

With the home defence asleep Clarkston bundled the ball into the net from close range after Colin McCabe had done well to block Ben Gordon’s shot with his legs.

Two goals in two second half minutes settled the contest. John Sutton was left with a tap-in when Clarkson squared from the right and a couple of minutes later Clarkson himself finished things off with a delightful angled clip over the exposed McCabe from 16 yards.