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Merthyr Town 0 Poole Town 2
12 Dec 2018, Wednesday

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THE Christmas lights were glowing in Webley's Bar but there wasn't a festive feeling as squad absences saw Merthyr's disappointing home form continue before the lowest gate this season- 279.The nine matches at the stadium have brought just 12 points, compared with a tally of 17 points from nine away games.And Merthyr dropped to sixth spot in the table, just outside the play-offs.
Two second-half goals gave the seasiders a deserved win in their return to Wales after relegation last term.
Ashley Evans was sidelined, serving his second game under suspension, and Ryan Prosser was in New York.Connor Young returned for Adam Davies but Merthyr were still without Joe Hunt and Jarrad Wright.
A further blow was when Owain Jones, who had tendons problems beforehand, struggled off late on.
The sides cancelled each other out for much of the first half. Jones tested goalkeeper Luke Cairney early on before at  the other end, Joe Perry punched out a cross from the left.
Sam Griffin pushed forward for Poole but the home defence cleared. James Constable looked to snap up half-chances and from one, Perry  conceded a corner.
Then Ian Traylor sent a shot wide from a Tom Meechan pass.
Poole shot on sight but from a free-kick, Jamie Whisken blasted the ball over the bar on 13 minutes.
Will Spetch stopped a Traylor-Jones link-up and Poole replied with Marvin Brooks heading off-target after a free-kick.
Craig McDonnell was firm in  the Merthyr rearguard with some timely tackles.The first half ended with a Merthyr flag-kick earned  by Traylor  from a Matthew Harris  ball.
There were few scoring chances for The Martyrs as the second-half began but Meechan did go close with a  volley.
Merthyr defended well against a free-kick, hit back with McDonnell trying a  header  at  goal which  wasn't far off.
But on 62  minutes, Merthyr lost possession,Luke Roberts setting up James Constable who had an easy task to net past Perry.
Merthyr pressed with Jones heading wide, then Traylor having the same fate at the post.
On 76 minutes manager Gavin Williams and young player Cavan Williams replaced Traylor and Corey Jenkins..But a couple of minutes later, in the 76th,  Poole scored their second. Corby Moore centred and Sam Griffin tucked the ball away.
An injury to Jones saw him helped off. Another development squad player Reuben MacKay came on.Poole comfortably saw out the remaining minutes.
PHIL HOWELLS

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