Striker hits treble, but disappointed with defeat
It had been a frustrating opening to the season for Michael Smith.
He started Pompey’s first three matches after completing a permanent switch over the summer.
But that run failed to yield any goals and the striker has not even appeared on the bench for the past two league fixtures.
Smith returned to the side for the Blues’ Checkatrade Trophy group stage tie at Yeovil, though – and grabbed the chance with both hands.
He netted three fine goals to claim the matchball, although it was not enough to prevent a 4-3 group stage defeat.
“I’m just disappointed that we didn’t win the game,” said Smith. “We’re all professionals and we don’t like losing football matches.
“But I thought that we were much better in the second half and were a lot harder to break down.
“I should really have stuck that chance I had away for a fourth, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing up there.
“I think it shows the strength in depth we’ve got in this squad that we can make so many changes and only lose by one goal.
“It was disappointing to come out of the side after the first three games, but that’s football.
“The gaffer’s got a lot of good strikers to choose from and the competition is healthy, so it’s going to be tough to get into the side.
“But we’ve got a good team spirit here and we all work hard on the training ground because it’s going to be a long season and there will always be changes.”
Smith’s first two goals were set-up by Kal Naismith, who impressed at left-back and sent a number of excellent crosses into the box.
The grateful recipient said: “Kal was outstanding and he’s got an absolute wand of a left foot, so it was great that he was able to find me.”