HAT-TRICK hero Tom Smith helped relegation-threatened Merley boost their Dorset Division One survival hopes with a 5-0 win over Holt.

Basement battlers Holt had never beaten their hosts and fell behind when Smith opened the scoring with a deflected shot.

Both teams enjoyed good bouts of possession but the score remained 1-0 at half-time.

Smith bagged his treble after the break before Joe Rendell and skipper Luke Parris completed the rout at King George V Playing Fields.

“Although it was a good result for Merley it was also a good result for youth football in the manner in which the game was played,” said Holt chairman Chris Till..

Both teams are seeking new recruits. Any player interested in joining should visit the clubs’ respective webstites at www.merleyallendale.co.uk or www.holtunitedyouthfc.co.uk.

Despite remaining in the drop zone, Merley closed the gap on their nearest rivals Sturminster Marshall to just two points.

The Ferndown fixture was one of only eight Dorset Youth League games to beat the frost, while only four games in the Bournemouth Youth League were played.

Merley: Charlie Pickard, Tom Whyle, Luke Parris, Max Mason, Declan Couglan, Tom Lyness, Alex Wright, Sam Whitty, Kieran Fanner, Josh Lord, Tom Smith, James Radwanski, Joe Rendell.

Holt: Jordan Manley, Marcus Cole, Nathan King, Callum Pearce, Harry Fayle, Max Haughton, Thomas Armstrong, Thomas Hopper, Ben Thompson, Joe Till, Matthew Meredith, Ben Winwood.