“You’ve got to make the most of it!” Jones is relishing his second chance at Boston United

Mark Jones and Dennis Greene.
Mark Jones and Dennis Greene.

Mark Jones vowed to enjoy his football once again after returning to Boston United - and the striker certainly had a smile on his face after hitting a hat-trick to sink Bradford Park Avenue.

There’s no doubt there was a buzz in the air at the Jakemans Stadium on Saturday; the Pilgrims struck five goals for the fourth time in their previous five home matches to finish the afternoon back in the Vanarama North play-off spots, albeit above Guiseley on goals scored.

But there were even more reasons to be cheerful.

After strikers Jones and Dayle Southwell both pledged their futures to the Pilgrims in midweek, they showed exactly why Boston were so desperate to keep hold of them.

Southwell took his season’s tally to 20 goals while Jones’ personal record now stands at six goals in five matches after his impressive treble.

“It’s a great feeling. Not only to score goals but to get a hat-trick in front of the fans,” Jones said.

“I’m happy to be here. It’s the best club around locally, with the manager, the lads, the fans and the chairman.”

Jones hasn’t always been so chipper since ending his first spell with Boston in January 2013.

After falling out of favour with then-manager Graham Drury, Gainsborough Trinity made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

But after switching to the Blues, and then Spalding United, limited opportunities and injuries created a number of frustrations.

“I made that mistake last time, going for the money,” Jones added.

“I haven’t enjoyed my football since then and now I’m enjoying my football.

“I’m looking forward to games and training, and that’s what it’s about.

“Football’s short-lived so you’ve got to make the most of it.”

Jones’ only previous hat-trick for Boston came in August 2012 in the 6-0 drubbing of Histon.

Boston boss Dennis Greene was Stutes manager that day, and the forward made a major impression.

“I knew what Jona was capable of, I tried bringing him to the football club twice before,” Greene said.

“I love him as a player and person. We’re reaping the benfits, he’s been first class.”

Jones got proceedings underway in the 34th minute as he skipped past Chris Howarth before drilling home a low effort.

And two minutes before the interval Southwell doubled the advantage, slotting home after Kaine Felix’s initial strike was parried by John Danby.

Powerful poachers’ finishes inside the penalty box saw Jones complete his hat-trick in the 56th and 78th minutes before Nicky Walker added the final touch in the final minute.

With his left boot he curled home an inch-perfect 20-yard free kick, the goal which took Boston back into the top five.