Smith eases the pressure after Taunton's rally
Calor Gas Southern Div 1 South & West.
Cirencester Town 3.
Taunton Town 1.
CIRENCESTER TOWN took their winning run to four with a chalk-and-cheese display at the Corinium on Tuesday night.
After a scare for the home side less than a minute into the game, when keeper Glyn Garner made a great block from Craig Herrod, Cirencester played with blistering pace and intensity, went 2-0 up and the hapless visitors could not have argued if it had been three or four by the break.
But a bizarre goal for Taunton two minutes into the second half turned the game on its head. To their credit, Taunton were transformed and, despite some resolute defending, Ciren looked like being overrun themselves.
With the outcome still in the balance, Cirencester scored a third in the 83rd minute – a Chris Holland free kick being directed past Kyle Moore by the lively Lee Smith – and the visitors’ comeback was pretty much over.
In the first half, Taunton had no answer to the pace and trickery of Smith and Steve Davies, while every man in a red shirt won their personal battles, with midfielder Brad Hooper, in particular, standing out.
Smith was on hand to finish when Davies’ shot from the edge of the box was too hot for Moore to handle. And when Ciren went 2-0 up inside the first half hour – Henry neatly volleying home a low Davies corner – it looked like being a long night for Taunton.
But in the 47th minute, a speculative 35-yard lob from the touchline had Garner frantically backpedalling and when he could only pat the ball down into the six-yard box from under his own bar, Steve Murray gratefully accepted the gift.
Cirencester appeared powerless to stop the rot as Chris Young and Murray both missed great chances to equalise.
Then, with the hosts still on the ropes they won a free kick, which Smith deflected home to ease the pressure.
Garner had one more brilliant stop to make – from Young in the 88th minute – which prevented a real nerve-janglng finale.
Cirencester Town: Garner, Dunton, Beeden, Mortimer-Jones, Holland, Henry (capt), Bond, Hooper, Collier (Bevan), Davies, Smith. Unused sub: Bromley.
Standard MoM: Garner, Holland and Hooper all had a shout but Smith’s two goals and his liveliness even when Ciren were under the cosh gets the nod.