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Tiverton Town v Merthyr Town

30 March 2024

Tiverton Town v Merthyr Town

Kick Off:




Tiverton Town v Merthyr Town

Ian Moorcroft Stadium, Kennedy Way, Tiverton, UK

Match Report:

This ugly defeat had a familiar feel of the exhausting reversal that is often grumbled about during the dourest days of being a Martyr: a visit to Devon on a difficult playing surface which Paul Michael claimed reduced the speed of movement of his players by 4mph according to the analytical data. A throwback to an era when anyone who dared to poke their heads around the door of our online forum felt like they’d stumbled into an episode of Question Time - with everyone shouting and ranting over the top of one another at blistering speed.

When the game isn’t going according to the plan laid out by the boss, a black cloud descends and casts a dark shadow until the next victory. The community and club are entwined - if Merthyr Town are winning, come down to Pontmorlais and party with us. If they’re not, then you had better leave us alone.

It’s always worse when there’s nobody obvious to blame, of course. For weeks, we had started to rely on Tom Handley being the main goalscorer. Olly’s explosive impact hadbeen reduced to rare flashes. There’s been no main culprit or clear answer as to why our form dipped.

There was hope that the circumstances around this visit to Ladysmead would be different after the win against Pymouth Parkway recently, even though it was played at Lodge Road, Yate. Fans were in a buoyant mood with thoughts that our confidence had been restored.

With conditions difficult underfoot it wasn’t easy, this didn’t feel like the same team that we had seen for most of the season. Both teams struggled to make any impact in the initial period but it was the visitors who created and squandered the best two chances before Tiverton scored in added time at the end of the first half.

Zak Baker made two ‘one-on-one’ saves from Ricardo Rees and Olly Mehew to keep his side in contention, while a Josh Yorwerth header was millimetres off target. When Will Fuller could only parry a free kick from the edge of the area into the path of Devan Wright who made no mistake.

The persistence of the home side in the second half finally paid off in the 82ndminute, when the Martyrs high defensive line was bypassed with a ball over the top that bounced perfectly for Joe Parker to hit on the half volley over the head of Fuller, who had advanced outside his penalty area.

Unfortunately, it felt like successfully maintaining the final play-off spot was more like reaching the top of Pen-Y-Fan than climbing Twynyrodyn Hill.

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