Two-goal Smith celebrates dream Centurions return
TIVERTON TOWN 1 CIRENCESTER TOWN 2
LEE Smith bagged two goals on his second Cirencester Town debut as the Centurions got their Calor League campaign off to a flying start at Tiverton.
The big-spending hosts were no match for Smith and his team-mates who made light of a nightmare journey to Devon to claim the points.
Centurions boss Brian Hughes gave first starts to a quartet of summer recruits with Gloucester City links.
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Smith partnered livewire striker Steve Davies up front, while Chris Holland came in to add experience to a solid-looking back four.
Loan signing Matt Liddiard made his first Cirencester appearance in the centre of midfield and excelled.
There was no place in the squad for Will Morford, however, the Gloucester striker failing to recover from a knee injury in time to take his place.
Cirencester had already wasted a good early chance to take the lead – Smith firing wide of the post after good work from Davies – before he made amends on 11 minutes.
Joe Shepherd's determined run into the box was not dealt with by the home defence and Smith was on hand to finish.
But the lead was short-lived as from Dan Smith's teasing right foot cross the hosts levelled the scores a minute later.
The ball was arrowed in towards giant striker Adam Carter, but before the Tivvy striker could threaten Glynn Garner in the Cirencester goal, the ball was turned home by the unfortunate Holland.
Matt Villis and Tom Gardner both tested Garner with headers from corners and the former Wales international saved superbly from Carter at the mid-point of the half.
But just as the hosts seemed to have found their form, Cirencester and Smith hit back in decisive fashion.
Davies' 25-yard effort was tipped over the bar by Viscosi, but from the resulting corner Smith was on hand to poke home from close range for his second.
He was nearly celebrating a hat-trick soon afterwards, but after curling an excellent shot past Viscosi from fully 20-yards, the summer signing from Cinderford was denied by the post.
Persistent rain made the second half a scrappy affair, with the introduction of former Cheltenham Town man Bertie Cozic helping the hosts settle.
Smith arrowed another shot goalwards, this time wide of the post just after the hour, while Chris Wright saw claims of a penalty at the other end waved away.
And with the visiting defence easily repelling any Tiverton attacks, Cirencester could and probably should have made the game safe in the final ten minutes.
A lightning break saw substitute Aiden Bennett set free to bear down on the Tivvy goal, only for Viscosi to deny the youngster with a fine save.
Tiverton Town: J Viscosi, S Tulley, M Villis, T Gardner, C Long (B Cozic 46), J Concane, S Krac, S Reed, D Smith (S Malsom 46), C Wright. Subs not used: D Law, J Heveran, M Wright.
Cirencester Town: G Garner, S Anson, E Dunton, J Mortimer-Jones, C Holland, L Henry, J Shepherd (B Hooper 90), M Liddiard, S Collier (A Bennett 73), S Davies, L Smith. Subs not used: J Beeden, J Bevan, S Bond.