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Merthyr Town 1 St Neots Town 1
10 Apr 2016, Sunday

Jon Brown is mobbed for his wonder strike (2).jpg (1)

The Martyrs were held to a draw in a match which attracted the season's best attendance following Red Insure Cup victory.

With Gethin Jones and Adam Davies unfit Jarrad Wright and James Bloom continued in defence with Ryan Prosser starting, playing in the lone striker formation supported by two wide players, and with Keyon Reffell and Jon Brown in midfield. Glyn Garner returned in goal in place of Cameron Clarke.

There was a scrappy start from both sides, but Merthyr came close to scoring after nine minutes following a foul on Corey Jenkins. The free kick was sent into the area leading to a fierce shot by Ashley Evans which was blocked by the keeper on the line.  A couple of minutes later Jenkins went on a run half the length of the pitch, but under pressure at the end of it ran the ball out of play on the byline.

The Martyrs were well worth the lead which came on 13 minutes when Kayne McLaggon intercepted a cross-field pass. He ran forward into space, beat a defender on the edge of the area and struck a cross-shot past the keeper.

There was another good chance for Merthyr three minutes later when Ryan Prosser and Keyon Reffell combined down the right for the latter to have a shot blocked by the keeper, the rebound being just taken away from Prosser by a defender as he was about to shoot. That was probably the turning point of the match, as against the run of play St Neots got an equaliser. A cross came in from the left towards the far post, and James Bloom in trying to head the ball down to Glyn Garner sent it past him and into the net.

After 35 minutes Corey Jenkins went off injured to be replaced by Ian Traylor.

Although the own goal hadn't seemed to immediately set Merthyr back St Neots came more into the game later in the half and it became a more even game. 

Five minutes after the break St Neots had a chance when a move down the left saw the ball squared across the area for a shot to be hit just past the near post. But that was to be the nearest the visitors came to a goal in the second half, with Glyn Garner having little to do.

Ryan Prosser was replaced by Jaye Bowen coming on after 55 minutes to play on the left, with Kayne McLaggon moving into the middle and Ian Traylor to the right. At the same time Chris Hugh replaced James Bloom.

There was a good chance for Merthyr after 63 minutes when Rhys Baggridge sent a ball forward to put Ian Traylor away. Traylor elected not to shoot and put the ball across the area and the chance was gone. However, Jaye Bowen retrieved the ball and gave it to Chris Hugh on the left and his testing cross into the goalmouth was just too far ahead of Kayne McLaggon.

The Martyrs came close again on 71 minutes when Keyon Reffell picked up the ball and ran at the defence to get in a left-foot shot which the keeper just got down to and pushed it past the post.

Merthyr’s final chance was on 85 minutes when an attack down the left saw Jaye Bowen lay the ball back to Keyon Reffell for him to get in a low shot which was hacked away by a defender.


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