Striker Matt Smith has capped a memorable Johnstone’s Paint Trophy season for Bristol City by landing the Ultimate Finish of the Season award.Smith’s stunning half volley from the angle of the penalty area in the Robins' Southern Area Final success over Gillingham claimed almost 40 per cent of the public vote in which over 1,110 football fans had their say.
The goal, which was also voted as the goal of the round in the Area Final stage, saw off competition from nine other sensational strikes to claim the Ultimate Finish season accolade.
Smith scored all five goals in City's 5-3 aggregate Area Final victory over Gillingham but was unable to play in the final at Wembley as his loan from Fulham had ended.
The Robins went on to defeat Walsall at the national stadium to lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, part of a famous double in a season in which they also won the Sky Bet League 1 title.
Smith, 25, said: “I loved my time at Bristol City and to be part of such a successful squad was a great feeling.
“It was a little bit disappointing not to be able to play in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley but I had spent the maximum time there on loan and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
“I was really pleased with the half volley against Gillingham and it’s a special feeling to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Ultimate Finish of the Season award.
“Thankfully I struck it well and it went in. Most importantly, it helped us to an important win and secured our place in the next round.”
Joe Garner of Preston North End and Accrington Stanley’s Marcus Carver finished second and third respectively, while Joanna Baggs won the supporter prize - selected at random from all fans who voted for the winning goal – of an Xbox One console, controller and a copy of FIFA 15.
Ben Wilde, brand and sponsorship manager for Johnstone’s Paint, said: “There were a number of superb goals in this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the shortlist gave fans a very difficult decision.
“Matt Smith’s goal was an absolute cracker and continued Bristol City’s fantastic season in all competitions. Our congratulations got to both the player and the club.”
Johnstone’s Paint has been bringing colour to the beautiful game for nine years through its sponsorship of the Football League Trophy.