Merthyr Town v Chesham United
9 September 2023
Merthyr Town FC, Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8RF
It was inevitable that the sub-tropical temperatures would have a significant affect on this Southern Premier South clash between two sides, who both came into this game with 100% records. There was a quite cautious start in the early stages, which was perfectly understandable given the weather conditions.
The only enforced change to the side from recent games was the inclusion of Joe Woodiwiss who replaced the injured Callum Ryan-Phillips.
In front of the biggest crowd of the season the Martyrs failed to rise to the occasion and the visitors set the tone for the game with a high press that put Jamie Cogman under difficulty while trying to play out from the back. This inauspicious start became even worse as the home side fell behind after just ten minutes when Avan Jones used his pace to create enough space on the right flank to find Ricardo German in space in the penalty area, who deftly flicked the ball past Cogman from 8 yards.
Within minutes a corner almost provided the Martyrs with an equaliser when Joe Woodiwiss lunged to meet a cross from Frazer Thomas but failed to hit the target from close range. It soon became worse for the Martyrs as Jack Evans fouled Hippolyte-Patrick and Chesham were awarded a penalty, which German confidently dispatched past Cogman to double the visitors lead.
This two goal cushion provided enough security for Chesham to play with five at the back and three defensive midfield players to protect their lead. Ricardo Rees thought that he had reduced the arrears when he found the back of the net only to be denied by the raised flag of the Assistant Referee. A weakly hit shot from Thomas was comfortably saved by Oualah and Alex John also went close with a fierce strike from 20 yards as the half time interval approached.
As the home side started to exert some pressure at the start of the second half with Rees narrowly failing to connect to a ball that flashed across the face of the goalmouth when only a touch was needed, it would be the visitors who added a further goal to their tally. German met a corner from the left to glance his header into the bottom corner for his hat-trick.
As the game entered the final ten minutes of normal time Rush was judged to be guilty of handling the ball in the penalty area and Rees stepped up to fire the spot kick into the roof of the net to provide some joy for the faithful supporters.
This was a hypnotic performance from the visitors who retained their defensive shape after the early breakthrough to protect their lead. Not the type of performance that the home fans had come to expect so far this season but credit to Chesham who were able to deal with any threats in a professional manner.