Hanwell Town v Merthyr Town
19 August 2023
Hanwell Town Football Club, Perivale Lane, Perivale, Greenford UB6 8TL, UK
It was probably unsurprising that it was the same starting line up as Tuesday evening.
Honours were even in the opening stages although Jamie Cogman was called upon to make an early full length diving save. However, the Martyrs were soon on top flexing their muscles and passing the ball crisply on a perfect surface, allowing Fraser Thomas to set up leading goal scorer Ricardo Rees in the 23rd minute, who went around the 'keeper and from a wide angle made no mistake to open the scoring.
It only took eight minutes before the lead was doubled as Ollie Mehew reacted the quickest at the far post from a corner to steer the ball comfortably inside the upright. On the stroke of half-time the hopes of any comeback came to an abrupt end as Noah Smerdon planted his header into the roof of the net to send the Martyrs into the interval with a three goal advantage.
A controversial incident in the 50th minute saw Rees lift the ball over the head of the Hanwell goalkeeper, who was outside his penalty area. After handling the ball the referee only booked the keeper when possibly a 'red' card should have been shown. It was all to no avail for the home side as Rees grabbed his second goal of the game and Merthyr's fourth after 70 minutes.
After keeping the hosts at arms length for 90 minutes, Tom Handley was adjudged to have committed a foul in the penalty area that allowed the home side to score a consolation goal in the final minute of the game.
It's way too early to consider any trends but this is the first time in 36 years that the season has started with four consecutive wins.