Kieran Alder & Tuffley Rovers new boy Lee Smith were just two of a number of outstanding performances as Rovers won their first home league game of the season, beating Virginia Water 6-1 this afternoon.
Smith, who was making his first league appearance for his new side since signing from Fairford Town two weeks ago, linked up well with Alder and Brett James throughout the game in a clinical attacking performance for Rovers.
Rovers nearly went in front inside the first two minutes, when Alder’s deep free kick was volleyed over at the back post by Dom Kent. Kent then blasted an effort over from 25 yards just a minute later.
Tuffley saw a lot of the ball in the opening exchanges and they broke the deadlock just after 20 minutes when Smith slipped in Ryan Dobbins. The former Gala Wilton winger ran in on goal before slotting the ball beyond Matt Jones in the Virginia Water goal.
Jones kept out a Brett James effort just minutes later from inside the six yard box after Smith headed down a Harry Walker diagonal into his path.
Alder, Kent and Jack Phillips linked up on the left side of the Virginia Water half as they played their way through the visitors. The ball fell to Lee Smith on the left side of the box just before the half hour mark. Smith’s driven ball in ended up flying into the back of the net off Virginia Water defender Finn Evered.
Virginia Water reduced the deficit just before the break out of nowhere when Adam Mills crossed from the right. Tuffley keeper Luke Merchant spilled the ball in, leaving Jake Baker a simple tap in to make it 2-1 going into the break.
Into the second half and there was no let up from Tuffley at all. Alder played a one two with James before seeing his shot deflected against the post from just inside the box.
Sam Hill and Lee Smith then both had efforts from 25 yards that sailed off target as Tuffley began to turn the screw.
When the third goal came it came via the right foot of Dom Kent on the hour mark. After Smith and James combined down the right side of the box Smith’s cross fell to the young man who curled an unstoppable effort into the top corner.
We had barely settled in the stands before Smith made it 4-1. After Tuffley won the ball back a neat diagonal fell to James just inside the area, before squaring to the former Gloucester City, Forest Green Rovers, Slimbridge, Cirencester Town & Cinderford Town man who finished past Jones.
Tuffley made it five with 20 minutes still left on the clock as Joel White looped in a header from a free kick wide on the right.
Smith would have the final say on the scoring with just over 10 minutes left after a poor goal kick from Jones was played through for Smith to latch onto and finish calmly.
Tuffley head into their home fixture with Abingdon United on Tuesday night, before a trip to Brackley Town Saints on Non-league day (Saturday 13th October).
Virginia Water have to wait til a week Monday before their next game, a Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup tie against Reading City.
Tuffley Rovers: Merchant, Hill, Walker, Pritchett, Phillips, White, Dobbins (Bird 45′), Kent (Carter 74′), Alder, Smith, James (Rhodes 82′)
Subs Not Used: Herbert, Loveridge
Virginia Water: Jones, Mills, Sanders, Williams, Evered (Samyint 45′), Chambers, Hill, McBride, McNamara, Baker (Brooks 72′), Jackson
Subs Not Used: Banks
Severn Sport Man Of The Match – Lee Smith (Tuffley Rovers)
You can follow our midweek double header on Severn Sport’ social media platforms as Tuffley Rovers host Abingdon United on Tuesday night, before a Gloucestershire derby between Longlevens and Brimscombe & Thrupp on Wednesday night.