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Merthyr Town 4 Gosport Borough 2
22 Aug 2018, Wednesday

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THREE early goals harried the Hampshire side who fought back to get into the game but Merthyr were probably better than the two-goal winning margin.The last goal was a fluke for Gosport to make it seem a closer match than it was.
Kyle Patten returned after injury to replace Craig McDonnell who hadn't been fit to train the previous Thursday. Ryan Prosser was ruled out wiith an ankle problem so former St Neots and Newport County forward Tom Meechan led the line.Matthew Harris, who had a niggling injury in  training before the start of the season, was on the bench.
Meechan, who has also been with Weston-super-Mare and Hungerford , demonstrated good ball control as he pushed through and was often impeded by desperate defending which led to several free-kicks.
Patrick O'Flaherty, Gosport, was the first goalkeeper to get a touch and as Merthyr  pressed from the start, he had to dive on the ground to meet a centre from Kerry Morgan.
Corey Jenkins made progress with his trademark running but Ian Traylor was unable to connect with the ball after one pass.
Alexander Lafeur and Patrick Suraci combined only for Morgan to cut short the move.
But on 10 minutes it was Merthyr who led. Adam Davies' cross took a touch off Traylor for Jenkins to finish it off from close in at the left.
Traylor's trickery tormented the visiting defence which found it hard to deal with crosses.
Gosport were sharp enough when they attacked, and Tony Lee drove one effort wide.The 17th minute saw Merthyr double their lead. Meechan  began the  move and when Jenkins slipped the ball through, Traylor put it past the  'keeper.
The match seemed over on 21 minutes with a third Martyrs goal. Meechan went on a run, centred and Morgan firmly headed the ball home.
Two minutes later, a qu.ick break by Gosport saw Lee get the ball past Joe Perry  in goal after the second try
Heartened, Gosport pressed and Perry did well to foil Lee.But Merthyr enjoyed most of the play, excelling on the flanks.The 'keeper conceded a corner from Traylor, sent through by Davies. Then Joseph Lea was booked for a foul on Meechan.
Good constructive play from Keiran Sullivan  saw him go close after he started a move involving Meechan and Traylor.
The second half saw Gavin Williams' men force two early corners. Gosport tried to change things with a double substitution- Scott Walters and Ryan Pennery for Connor Hoare and Lafleur.
However, ~Gosport could not halt Merthyr's supremacy. Davies sent Meechan through but he lost the ball after taking it too far.
Harris came on for Morgan after 64 minutes and soon made an impact.Then after 65 minutes Jarrad Wright set up Meechan who finished well after a neat turn- and it was 4-1.
Connor Young went on for Patten and he was in action to clear from Craig McAllister.
Merthyr were stunned by a surprise goal in the 75th minute. Full-back Thomas Leggett floated the ball across from the flank and it seemed to clip off Hunt and settle in the goal's far corner. to the bemusent of all.
Another Leggett cross saw  Hunt put over the bar for a corner.
Ashley Evans stormed in with an effort which the 'keeper saved for a flag-kick.With two minutes left (other than five minutes added on) , Lee Price went on for Jenkins and the wide man was greeted with fans' applause.
Meechan kept battling to outwit the away defence but there were  no more goals as The Martyrs moved to number two in  the table.


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