A second-half surge from Bideford saw them take all three points in their return to action in BetVictor Division One South on Saturday.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

The Robins beat Cirencester Town 3-0 at the Sports Ground in their first game in three weeks.

Max Smallcombe and Sean Downing struck in the final 15 minutes to ensure Bideford claimed their first win since September 28.

The game looked destined for a goalless draw before Smallcombe broke the deadlock in the 75th minute, lashing home from inside the penalty.

Downing struck twice in the final 10 minutes to wrap up the win. The first a well-taken shot from the edge of the penalty area and the second a simple tap-in after a burst forward from returning Robin Ben Wood.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

If it wasn't for the bitter cold you would be forgiven for thinking it was one of the Robins' first games of the season. The match was just the third time they have played at the Sports Ground on a Saturday afternoon this season, and was only their second match in the last six weeks.

Cirencester imposed their will on Bideford early on and had chances to take the lead in the first half.

John Dennis carved out the first chance for the visitors after five minutes when he surged down the left flank. His delivery with the outside of his boot was just wide and just beyond striker Alan Griffin at the back post.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Liam Kingston was called into action minutes later, tippiung a shot from Baboucarr Jarra over the bar after the centre back found room to shoot from a corner.

Jay Malshanskyj went close for Cirencester before Bideford had their first real chance midway through the first half - a Ben Palmer header from a Smallcombe corner that came back off the crossbar.

Ryan Turner almost gave the Robins the lead on the stroke of half time, forcing a good save from Lewis Clayton after a well-taken shot on the turn.

William Tunnicliff had the ball in the net for Cirencester from a corner five minutes into the second half, but his celebration was cut short by an offside flag.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

From there it was Bideford who pushed for a goal to break the deadlock. Theo Simpson perhaps should have done that on the hour when he broke clear of the Cirencester backline, but a heavy touch meant Clayton was able to smother the ball before the striker could do any damage.

The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw before Smallcombe finally broke the deadlock with 15 minutes remaining, lashing a first time shot from inside the penalty area into the back of the net.

The visitors almost replied within five minutes when Malshanskyj reacted to a parry from Kingston only to send his shot over the bar.

Downing made sure of victory with 10 minutes remaining, collecting the ball on the edge of the penalty area and drifting in from the right before firing a left-footed shot beyond Clayton and into the corner at the near post.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Downing got his second and Bideford's third in the final minute of the 90 after Wood surged forward minutes after coming off the bench.

His shot was parried by Clayton but the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop Downing from tapping into the empty net.

Bideford: Kingston, Sampson, Waldy, Heeney, Down, Palmer, Carter, Smallcombe, Turner (Wood 85), Simpson (Reay 73), Downing (Hancox 90). Sub not used: Taylor.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Cirencester Town: Clayton, Harper (Irving 78), Tunnicliff, Mortimer-Jones, Jarra, Anson, Dennis, Freeman, Griffin, Malshanskj, Sidibe.

Subs not used: Morris, Anderson.

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Cirencester Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart