Match Report: Merthyr Town 1-3 Banbury United
06 Dec 2017, Wednesday


Forget the scoreline from Tuesday  night! The Martyrs deserved something for their battling second-half performance.

Ryan Prosser made a big difference as a second-half substitute, pulled a goal back and hit the post twice. The stadium erupted as Merthyr found the  net a second time  but a goal was ruled out for offside. Then, with Merthyr open at the back after exerting all the pressure, Banbury broke for Leam Howards to beat goalkeeper Cameron Clarke after being put through down the left and seal it for the Oxfordshire side.

Merthyr were without Kerry Morgan and Corey Jenkins, unavailable, and Kyle Patten,injured, who might be out for a while.

It was tough early on with the defence facing some giant forwards. At the other end, Jacob Flower, showed some neat touches.

Ashley Evans set up Ian Traylor who brought a save from Jack Harding.But Banbury led on 23 minutes.The lively Ricky Johnson sent Conor McDonagh through and he drove home superbly from an awkward angle.Four minutes later, defender Luke Carnell headed in from Sam Humphreys' corner.

Chances came for the visitors but Clarke pulled off good saves.

The match looked won at the break, and after the turn-around a Johnson header hit the bar and then the impressive McDonagh went on one of his trademark runs but  blazed wide.

Boss Gavin Williams told his team, containing a mix of experienced and youth players, to try not to concede in the opening 15 minutes of the second half. They achieved this and as the game wore on, they sensed the game was not lost.

Prosser was causing all sorts of problems in the goal area as Banbury were forced back, and he got a goal with eight minutes left after Ian Traylor was first involved on the left.

Merthyr were hit on the break with Banbury's killer goal with appeals for offside denied  by the referee.In stoppage time Prosser headed onto the post.

Town did all that was asked of them against a Banbury side now with seven league away wins this season but only two at home.

And the home  fans got behind their team with the crowd a creditable 379 considering the club's problems.

Banbury moved up to ninth in the table with Merthyr 16th.

Merthyr Town: Cameron Clarke, Adam Davies, Scott Tancock, Ashley Evans, Liam Martin, Jarrad Wright, Miles John (Ryan Prosser 68), Marcus Hogbakken (Matthew Harris 46), Jacob Flower (Craig Reddy 74), Jaye Bowen, Ian Traylor. Subs (not used): Ellis Holland, Jamie Jones.

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