With the aroma of Weetabix from the nearby factory permeating the atmosphere around Latimer Road, the Martyrs bit off more they could chew against current league leaders, Kettering Town going down to the heaviest defeat suffered by Merthyr Town in its existence.
With Fleetwood absent through suspension (the 2nd of his 3 game ban), Touray was the only change made by Gavin Williams as he retained the 3-5-2 formation that has worked so well in recent games.
Kettering had the better of the play early on but despite conceding corners overall Merthyr were defending well not giving the home side any real chances but on the other hand they were not creating much going forward although they did claim a corner of their own when a forward ball came off Berry. Traylor took it towards the near post and Berry cleared. The game became fairly even with both sides attacking at every opportunity and after good work on the left by Pring, he got to the byline and got in a low cross which rebounded off the knee of Willock out to Richards who found Evans who gave it to Davies but his effort from the right hand edge of the area seemed to come off Evans and away for a goal kick. Kettering came back into it and forced corners on the Merthyr left, the first of which was well dealt with by Davies but the second was sent high towards the far post and was met by Willock but he sent his free header wide of Davies’s right hand post. Merthyr failed to learn from that error and after Pring was adjudged to have committed a foul on the Merthyr left, Toseland sent the resulting free kick high towards the far post and from within the 6 yard area, Stevens sent yet another free header wide of Davies and Kettering were a goal up in the 24th minute.
Merthyr tried to get back into the game and had their best chance of the game so far when Bowen made a run into the Kettering half and gave it to Richards who sent it forward to the edge of the area and Traylor robbed Mulligan and got the ball right to Davies and his cross was met by Evans but his header looped over the bar. Then a long ball towards the Kettering area was chased by Traylor and Wright, in the Kettering goal, ran towards the edge of the area to catch the bouncing ball in his midriff and his momentum seemed to take him out of his area with the ball in his hands but the lino signalled no offence had been committed. Touray tried to bring others into play in the Kettering half and after good work between him and Richards, Traylor got into the box and he turned past Willock but Berry got a foot in and cleared. Merthyr were well in the game at this point and after a good period of possession, Wright did well to save at the feet of Davies after being set up by Richards. A little later Pring and Richards combined to find Wright and he sent it down towards Touray who got it inside to Richards who held it up and sent it left towards Touray but his 18 yard short went straight into the grateful arms of Wright. Then with a minute of the half left came the incident which probably sealed the game for the home side when a free kick was sent into the Merthyr area and it popped back out to Milnes whose shot towards the Merthyr goal took a deflection off Stevens which wrong footed Davies and Kettering were 2-0 up and that remained the score at the half time whistle.
Kettering kicked off at the start of the second half and quickly gained a corner which was dealt with by Davies and Merthyr responded with an attack down the left but Traylor was robbed by Berry. Merthyr kept hold of the ball but the Kettering defence kept the Martyrs at bay. Merthyr gained a free kick on their right which was taken by Davies and came off a Kettering defender and away for a corner. Traylor sent it high into the area and Mulligan headed it clear and it was picked up by Davies who sent it back towards the far post towards Touray but his header was easily caught by Wright. Davies then sent a good ball down the right towards Traylor but his low cross was missed by both Touray and Mulligan and away. At this stage, Kettering were playing on the break and were looking dangerous and Davies did well to deflect a low cross behind for a corner which was cleared. Richards was fouled near the left hand edge of the Kettering area but his right footed kick was just missed at the far post by Merthyr’s Wright. A few minutes later Kettering broke forwards and Stevens picked the ball up outside the Merthyr area and his shot was well saved by Davies down to his right and Milnes shot across goal from the rebound and Davies again did well to get it behind for a corner.
Merthyr made a double substitution with Tancock and Bowen making way for McDonald and Jenkins with McDonald playing upfront to highlight the dearth of strikers and Merthyr reverted to a back 4. Kettering got their third when Stevens latched onto a poor headed clearance and shot the ball across goal and O’Connor was on hand to send the ball past Davies just after the hour. Merthyr were still trying to get on the scoresheet and Traylor did well on the right to get a great cross into the area but an unmarked Jenkins headed over from 6 yards. More Merthyr pressure followed but with few chances created but Kettering hit back and Stohrer picked up a ball on the left of the Merthyr area and Davies rushed off his line to close him down but Stohrer evaded his slide and he sent in a shot from an acute angle and into the net at the far post and with about 10 minutes left Kettering were leading 4-0.
Merthyr made their final substitution with Morgan replacing Touray and Merthyr reverted to a back 3 with McDonald moving back. Morgan got into the action almost immediately earning himself the only yellow card of the game when he brought down Meikle near the corner flag after he outpaced Pring. Toseland took the kick and he hammered it low towards the 6 yard area and the ball shanked off the outside of Richards’s left foot as he tried to clear but it flew into the back of the Merthyr net to cap an unfortunate day for the Martyrs as Kettering went nap after 82 minutes.
Despite further pressure from both sides the score remained the same with Kettering winning 5-0.