Merthyr Town completed a comfortable 2-0 victory in the 2nd leg of the Red Insure Cup to win 7-1 on aggregate against Cambridge City.
The Martyrs led Cambridge City 5-1 after the first leg of the Red Insure Southern League Cup final thanks to a hat trick from Ryan Prosser and further goals from Ian Traylor and Chris Hugh, Merthyr Town eased to a comfortable 2-0 second leg victory. Substitute Prosser grabbed a brace to give the Mighty Martyrs a resounding 7-1 aggregate victory to lift the Southern League Cup for the first time since 1951.
Merthyr made several changes from Saturday’s team. With Adam Davies ill, Bloom came in at left back with Jones returning to the middle of the defence allowing Wright to move forward to partner Evans in midfield with Prosser and the returning Traylor joining Hugh, Bowen and Chappelle on the bench.
Merthyr missed a great opportunity to open the scoring when Jenkins made a superb break down the left, getting past the Standen as if he wasn’t there and got into the area, close to the byline and sent in an excellent low ball across the 6 yard line which was met by the onrushing Brown, but the ball bobbled on the playing surface at a vital moment and from about 5 yards, Brown skied his half volley over the bar.
Cambridge were giving away free kicks after fouls on both McLaggon and Reffell but Merthyr failed to take advantage of these set pieces but still looked the more likely to score as Cambridge continued to struggle against the Merthyr defence. Another opportunity arose when after some good play down the right involving Reffell and Brown led to the latter sending in a cross which was partially cleared to Wright whose shot from the edge of the area rocketed against the Cambridge post and away to safety with Barrett totally beaten.
Jenkins continued to cause problems down the Cambridge right and he again got into the 18 yard area and from the byline got in another low cross as he was tackled by Standen and Cambridge cleared. Match referee Mr Finnie waved away appeals for a penalty and with Jenkins lying prone off the pitch.
Merthyr then missed another opportunity when Reffell broke through the middle of the Cambridge defence and from about 12 yards he sent in a shot which Barrett did really well to push aside for a corner which was cleared by the Cambridge defence. A little later Jones got his head to the ball from a Brown free kick, given after yet another foul on McLaggon but he sent his header across goal and wide of Barrett’s right hand post. Jenkins again got into the area and shot towards goal but Barrett got down well to his right to pull off another good save.
Merthyr continued to press with Cambridge defending, sometimes desperately and offering little going forward and the half ended 0-0 but the Martyrs could have had 3.
The second half started as the first ended with the Martyrs on top. A long ball into the Cambridge half saw McLaggon and Standen tussle for it. McLaggon got the better of him and just as he was lining up to shoot from the edge of the area, Norman got his foot in and the danger was cleared. A few minutes later, McLaggon was again fouled, this time by Lewis near the left hand edge of the Cambridge area. Brown sent the kick into the area towards goal and it got a wicked deflection off a Cambridge defender and Barrett did really well to go to his right and get the ball away for a corner which Cambridge cleared. In a very rare attack down their right and a cross came into the Merthyr area but landed straight into the arms of the underworked Clarke.
McLaggon made a couple of good breaks but with no luck and with about a half an hour left, he was replaced by Prosser and 10 minutes later after more Merthyr pressure involving Prosser and Jenkins Brown sent in a shot which went just wide of Barrett’s right hand post, Traylor replaced the injured Jones with Wright dropping back.
In the 75th minute Prosser – who else – opened the scoring. Jenkins again did well to pick up a clearance from Standen and he crossed it towards Prosserwho from about 12 yards he sent a great shot past Barrett into the back of the net and the Merthyr fans celebration party started in earnest.
Some more good play down the left saw Reffell receive the ball in the area and he held it, gave it back to Bloom but his cross was cleared only for Merthyr to win it back and from a ball forward by Tancock, Prosser got the better of Murray and as the ball bounced in the area he lobbed it over Barrett but also about 10 yards over the bar. As the ball was being retrieved, Hugh replaced Jenkins.
It was no surprise when Merthyr increased their lead and again it was no surprise that it was Prosser who got the goal. Traylor sent a long ball towards the right hand edge of the Cambridge area which Prosser latched onto and this time he made no mistake when he controlled it and lobbed a volley over Barrett’s head which fell neatly into the back of the Cambridge net and Merthyr were 2 up on the night and 7-1 over the two games.
Merthyr continued to have the upper hand and tried to increase their lead even more and Prosser almost got his second hat trick of this 2 legged final when he picked up a loose ball in the area and shot from about 12 yards just wide of Barrett’s right hand post.
Mr Finnie, after a few minutes of stoppage blew the final whistle with Martyrs contingent celebrating.
The Cup will be at the ground on Saturday when we play St Neots and coupled with the opening of Webley’s it will be a great day. Please come along and join in the celebration.