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Merthyr Town v Hanwell Town

16 December 2023

Merthyr Town v Hanwell Town

Kick Off:




Merthyr Town v Hanwell Town

Merthyr Town FC, Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8RF

Match Report:

As the final minutes ticked away on a bitterly cold afternoon, up popped full back Calum Ryan-Phillips in the opposition area to score his first for the Club and add a fourth goal to the final result, that somewhat flattered the Martyrs. There were periods in the second half when our backs were firmly pinned up against the wall, when a relentless period of one corner after another flew into our penalty area only for each one to be repelled by a stonewall defensive display. So when the final whistle sounded soon after the final goal was scored against their better judgement the Martyrs had secured all three points which was all that really mattered.

Hanwell ended the game with far more second half possession and territorial advantage than their hosts, and at times they played some brave football, after Tom Handley had crashed home the opening goal on the stroke of half time. Kieran Evans left footed cross found Gethyn Hill at the far post who rolled the ball back to the edge of the penalty area for Handley to rifle his shot passed Sam Beasent.

The fact that we added another early in the second half helped to settle things down a little and it was Gethyn Hill who rose to head home the dropping ball from close range, as the reward for fighting his way back to fitness after a long lay off.

Hanwell made a couple of substitutions in an attempt to change things and after 76 minutes Duncan hit the woodwork with an acrobatic bicycle kick as the ball pinged around the six yard box. But things remained the same with even more corners and long throws rained on the Martyrs six yard box under the continued aerial threat.

How often do fine margins change games? The difference was in both penalty areas, the Martyrs took their chances and defended everything that Hanwell threw at them. When Noah Smerdon was introduced, a tactical switch saw Tom Handley moved into a more advanced position and despite all of the severe pressure from Hanwell, when the Martyrs broke on the counter attack after 81 minutes Beasent saved Handley’s initial effort only for Ricardo Rees to emphatically find the back of the net for the Martyrs third goal, against the run of play.

So, all in all a very good day at the office, with more a cause for optimism than concern. A defensive display deserving serious merit. These are the rocks upon which foundations are built. To win this one the way we did was very seriously impressive.

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