18 Mar 2018, Sunday
An early headed goal by Jarrad Wright on a bitterly cold unseasonal "spring" afternoon was enough to secure maximum points for Merthyr (writes Phil Howells).
In a well-contested 90 minutes, Merthyr did well to survive some pressure from the Cambridgeshire outfit, who at one stage in the first half, forced four corners in a few minutes.
Before the match, which was played before a reduced gate probably because of televised sport, including the imminent Wales versus France rugby clash, and the weather, striker Ryan Prosser was presented with a trophy to mark his 300 appearances for the club, interim chairman Paul Donovan making the presentation.
After just two minutes,the goal came, after Ian Traylor crossed for Jarrad Wright to rise confidently and head into the top corner of the net past goalkeeper Finlay Irons, aged 17. The start boosted The Martyrs as they attacked strongly. A ball from Prosser just failed to find Traylor. Then at the other end Nabil Sharif set up Dylan Williams who was denied by young Merthyr 'keeper Ed Hewitson.
Owain Jones forced Irons to gather the ball on the ground and Kerry Morgan tested the 'keeper.
The visitors were sharp in their raids and Johnny Butler sent in a low effort which Hewitson stopped.A good run from Williams was halted by Adam Davies.When Jones, the former Swansea player, was clear on the ;left, Dan Buddle won the challenge.Both sides battled and Morgan went close for Gavin Williams' men.It was Morgan again early in the second half who almost made it 2-0.The second half saw Corey Jenkins replace Jones,who had earlier received treatment from the physio.
Dion Senbie Ferris broke for St Neots only for Matthew Harris to make a strong tackle.Wright had a good attempt saved before the visitors exerted a lot of pressure, including a spell of flag-kicks.But Merthyr did well to keep their goal intact.
Prosser had a goal disallowed.Merthyr had chances to settle the game and Traylor headed wide from a Davies ball.After another move,Traylor broke through only for the keeper to palm away.
All in all, it was a good three points and deserved for the team effort, and the players were applauded off the field as a flurry of snow fell.
Merthyr Town Ed Hewitson, Adam Davies, Scott Tancock,Ashley Evans Kyle Patten, Matthew Harris, Kerry Morgan (Jaye Bowen),Jarrad Wright, Ryan Prosser, Owain Jones (Corey Jenkins), Ian Traylor (Craig Reddy). Subs not used, Miles John, Lee