FOOTBALL: Smith lands Cirencester equaliser in 96th minute

Cirencester Town's prolific scorer Lee Smith

Cirencester Town's prolific scorer Lee Smith

First published in Sport
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Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Calor Div One South & West

Cirencester Town 2

Godalming Town 2

CIRENCESTER needed 96 minutes of football to force a draw with Godalming on Tuesday night – and the battling point could prove crucial when the league is decided after Easter.

With the Merthyr juggernaut gathering another three points at Fleet Town, Ciren desperately needed a victory on home turf to keep up the pressure on the leaders.

But despite a bright opening 15 minutes, Ciren’s penetration in the final third was non-existent and they found themselves 2-0 down after just 49 minutes.

Only gradually did they crank up the pressure until they threw everything at Godalming in the last half-hour.

Jody Bevan’s low drilled shot into the back of the net on 86 minutes gave the home supporters hope.

But it looked little more than a consolation effort when Godalming were running down the clock at the Cirencester corner flag at in the 96th minute.

However, a punted clearance downfield and two passes later the prolific Lee Smith showed a composure that was lacking in his earlier efforts on goal as he stroked the ball past the advancing Zaki Ovalah to spark delirious celebrations.

It was a cruel finale for Godalming who had repeatedly put their bodies on the line to repel wave after wave of Ciren attacks.

The large swathe of extra time resulted from a lengthy stoppage just before 90 minutes had been played.

Ciren centre back Mark Pritchett clattered Ovalah late as he landed from a high catch in the box but the referee required lengthy deliberations with first one linesman and then the other before settling on the guilty party and dealing out a yellow.

The delay doused Ciren’s head of steam so the hosts deserve congratulations for getting going again to nick the last-gasp equaliser.

Two goals from Jack Mazzone had earlier put Godalming in command.

His first on 27 minutes came as a result of a defensive error by Ciren captain Shane Anson, totally against the run of play, while what looked like his killer second goal came from a corner four minutes into the second half.

Cirencester Town: Garner, Anson (capt), Prictor (Bennett, 62), Pritchett, Liddiard, Henry, Wood (Bevan, 52), Mortimer-Jones, Morford, Davies, Smith.

Unused sub: Hooper, Shepherd, Bromley.

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