Ok due to the fact that I appear to have left my Dictaphone somewhere in a valley in Merthyr, this weeks match report will be shorter than normal.
Evo-Stick South Premier Division South
Merthyr Town 1 – 0 Basingstoke Town Attendance 427
Ok for those who don’t know Charlie Kennedy’s nicknames above the line-up was in goal; Tom McGill, Defence; Jim Orvis, Dan Bayliss, Shane Hollamby and Rob Gerrard. Midfield: San Collier, Drew Matthews, Liam Hunt & Dan Collier. Forwards: Sam Smart & Ben Wright.
The bench consisted: Harris, Shean, Brown, Redford & Akers
The game got underway and there was very little goalmouth action in the first 10 minutes, until a shot/cross from a Merthyr winger flew over McGill and scraped across the top of the crossbar.
Although Stoke had more of the initial possession we are still unable to create very little in the goalmouth area, apart from a shot by Smart that was well saved by the home team keeper.
On 21 mins we then create another half-chance, as Ben Wright, was able to find space to turn and shoot just outside the box, but his shot is blocked.
Just after that the Martyrs created two shot on target, the first down our left which is well defended by Bayliss for a corner. The second an attack down our right, which pulls out a diving save at the near post by Tom McGill.
Just before halftime Wright is able to put his foot through the ball but it flies over the bar, and catches one of our younger fans unaware.
Note: Well done to Bayliss I believe who put the ball straight out of play when one of the Merthyr players went down under a heavy challenge. Not sure why the two Merthyr players who had the ball, couldn’t do it, but hey-ho halftime is goal-less.
The second-half gets underway with no changes by us and we are again the team who are pressing the game more, but again good defensive work by the hosts.
We create two chances one from a free-kick for a foul on Sam Smart. The free-kick swung in by Deadfield is well punched clear by the keeper. The second by Gerrard which is saved by the keeper.
Merthyr then have a good couple of minutes of play following corners which are defended well by the back four and a shot that flies a few yards wide from the edge of the penalty area.
We then should have gone one-up, and further proof why we are where we are in the league, as the ball falls to Wright about 7yds out, he is unable to get a clear shot away, which is initially blocked, he then slides it to his left to Deadfield and his shot is also well blocked and Merthyr are able to scramble the ball out of the penalty area.
However, if you don’t take your half chances you will pay and according to the league results, the hosts take the lead on 76 mins, as a low cross from the left, finds Tom Meecham in front of goal and he puts it way.
We then decide to make our first and only substitution as we replace Liam Hunt (not a bad effort put in by him) with Aaron Redford.
Redford brings a lot more attacking look down the left and makes a couple of decent runs down the wing, including a left-footed cross, which is again well defended by Merthyr.
Merthyr could go two-up as we move into the last minute of the 90, as they break but a good tackle by Gerrard blocks a good chance in front of goal.
The extra-time passes fairly quietly as the ref puts us out of misery again. Another road game, another road loss and we remain firmly rooted in the bottom three.
Final Score: Merthyr Town 1 – 0 Basingstoke Town
Final Thought’s: We had a lot of possession but created very little on target, and didn’t put their keeper under any real pressure all-day.
We were worth a point and needed it badly.
No sign of any defenders coming in yet. No sign of us getting out of the relegation spots either.
Big games coming up Chesham Utd away Tuesday, Harrow Borough at home Saturday.
Match Update/Report by Martin French