18 Feb 2019, Monday
IT was good to see a busy Webley's Bar after this game with probably the attraction, BT's televised Newport County v Manchester City FA Cup thriller. And a private function for 100 people followed in Romans Bar. Both should be a welcome finances boost and that is needed if progress can be made on the field along with stability off the pitch.
This disappointing result will make it harder if The Martyrs have hopes of a play-off spot, and they can rue the points dropped at home this campaign.
A physically tough Hendon outfit ended their lean spell although at the start, it looked llke The Martyrs were going to build on the success of Tuesday's win over Weymouth.
The London side had defender Luke Tingey dismissed in the 79th minute after a second yellow card. And the referee had a busy afternoon showing cards.
Merthyr kept faith in the winning side with Ryan Prosser the target man but no-one was able to feed off him to pick out scoring chances, and the midfield seemed to lack a little creativity at times.
Danny Bonnes in the Hendon goal made some class saves to foil Merthyr.
Ian Traylor's early cross was firmly headed away while at the other end Obi Ogo was beaten by a Matthew Harris header.
When Boness blundered as he came out of goal, Traylor was in but Hendon cleared.
Ben Swallow set up Traylor for a shot on 15 minutes but Boness made a fine one-handed stop.An Adam Davies header flashed close from a Connor Young ball.
Then Hendon earned three quick corners but the home defence was firm.
Prosser went close,shooting on the turn and earning a flag-kick.
But on 40 minutes Ogo netted a spot-kick after keeper Lewis Webb,whose good displays have been noticed by many, brought down Shaquille Hippoloyte Patrick. The referee consulted an assistant to check perhaps that the incident was in the box although there didn't seem any doubt.
Hendon again pressed in the second half, Connor Calcutt forcing a clearance from Jarrad Wright.
Ryan Hope clattered Ashley Evans down and was booked.
Merthyr forced some free-kicks with Wright going downfield to help out.And The Martyrs had a sustained attacking spell. Then Web dropped the ball with Calcutt threatening but the danger passed.
Connor Young and Jamie Veale made way for Owain Jones and Kieran Lewis.But just before that, it was 0-2 with a centre met by Calcutt who headed in after 69 minutes at the far post.
Lewis had a goal disallowed for offside.Swallow came off for Tom Meechan.With 11 minutes left , defender Tingey was shown a second yellow card after hustling Jones and left Hendon with 10 men.
Wright went close with a header from Lewis as Hendon were pushed back.
Bonness did well to save a Traylor free-kick in the long period of stoppage time.Merthyr fought all the way but couldn't get a consolation goal as fans started drifting away, feeling the game was lost.
Hendon presence helped boost the gate to 512.
Before the game, there was a minute silence in memory of the late Mrs Shirley Tucker, whose husband Ken was a former player, manager and secretary for Merthyr.