Merthyr Town v Yate Town
2 September 2023
Merthyr Town Football Club, Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil, UK
When Ollie Mehew scored with a powerful header at the back post after just 2 minutes, everything went like clockwork for the next hour. Three further goals in very quick succession from Keiran Evans, Ricardo Rees and Tom Handley virtually ended this First Qualifying Round tie as a contest.
Since returning from injury Keiran Evans has scored twice in three games and this goal like the one he scored against Sholing last weekend provided Aaron Sainsbury with very little chance of saving the well struck shot into the far corner. A few minutes later Ricardo Rees was next on the scoresheet, as he reacts quickly to score from a rebound after the keeper makes the initial save. Within a minute Tom Handley adds a fourth goal with a fierce shot past Sainsbury, for his second goal in the last six days.
With a comfortable half time lead Paul Michael introduced a triple substitution at the start of the second half, replacing Matthew Harris, Frazer Thomas and Keiran Evans with Tom Stokes, Joe Woodiwiss and Aneurin Livermore.
Any stern words spoken in the Yate dressing room during the interval had the desired effect as the Bluebells improved in the second half without providing any significant threat. A knee injury to Callum Ryan-Phillips after sixty minutes left the Martyrs to play the last half hour with ten men after using their three substitutes at the start of the second half.
This required a disciplined performance to prevent Yate posing any threat and the side kept possession really well, won the ball back quickly when out of possession and shut down any potential attacking moves providing defensive cover to Jamie Cogman.
Without pressing forward and taking any chances the Martyrs relied on a quick counter attacking move to score their fifth goal of the game as Ollie Mehew finished confidently from 10-yards.
As time ran out Kyle Twose scored a late consolation goal for the visitors.