Merthyr Town manager Gavin Williams was encouraged by his young teams performance at Tiverton Town despite the 3-1 defeat.
The hosts victory saw them jump up into 3rd position, although Kettering, Hereford and Slough do have games in hand. Williams said,
"This is a tough place to come, and Tiverton are a strong team who have a way of playing which gets the best out of their players and makes them difficult to beat, especially at their ground."
"We came down here with some of our experienced players, blended in with a number youth players who played up in Chesham. Before the game I was a little nervous as it is a big step up for them and after we conceded an early goal I was worried about the effect that it would have. But to be fair to the boys they showed great character in the way they responded on a difficult wet and heavy surface."
"A lot of people were very complimentary about the football that we played, especially in the first half, and we more than deserved an equaliser before half time. In the second half Tiverton showed their experience as some of our boys tired a little. They are not used to the intensity of the Southern League having played Academy and Youth football but it is something they will get used to, and games like this will be good for them. They are learning the hard way that what you do without the ball is crucial at this level."
"But again they were a credit to themselves, their coaches and the club with their hard work and commitment. This has come a little bit earlier for them than we would have liked and the situation is a little unfair on them to be fair, but I can't fault their effort and the signs are encouraging."
"Once again the fans were magnificent in the way they supported the team. They have been to Tiverton a number of times over the years and understand how difficult it is here. I think they were impressed with the football that we played, and they all waited by the away dressing room area and applauded the players after the game showing how appreciative they are of their efforts again."
"Hopefully now we get another big crowd for #PackThePark2 on Saturday at home to Biggleswade."
The match kicks off at 3pm at the LoadLok Community Stadium.