21 Nov 2018, Wednesday
Merthyr Town 5 Tiverton Town 1
THE chances of only a second home win of the campaign (after seven impressive victories on the road, League and Cup) looked slim after just eight minutes when goalkeeper Joe Perry was sent off.
A deliberate hand-ball just outside the box saw referee Rob Cockle flourish the red card. Defender Joe Hunt took the keeper's jersey and gloves.
What ensued was a feast of goals to warm up fans on a cold night as Tiverton were hit by a superb display by The Martyrs who moved up to fifth in the table.
Ian Traylor's hat-trick was complemented by goals from Ryan Prosser and Lee Lucas. And all the goals were superbly executed with the Merthyr players on top form and running around in style to frustrate the fifth in the table rivals.
As a despairing Perry went off, he had a hand-shake from Tiverton manager Martyn Rogers, Perry having also played with the Devon side.
Gavin Williams' men tore into the attack from the start with Callum Hall conceding a corner after a Traylor-Kieran Lewis move on three minutes.A couple of solid tackles from Hunt halted Tiverton progress.
Then Ryan Prosser sent a long-range effort wide.
After Hunt went into goal, Levi Landricombe hit the Merthyr crossbar.But Prosser gave Merthyr the lead on 25 minutes, beating goalkeeper Liam Armstrong after a Lewis free-kick had been helped on.
The second goal on 36 minutes was a cracker with Lucas storming through and driving home from about 25 yards.
Traylor was hacked down by Key as a shell-shocked Tivvy tried to hit back. But on 41 minutes Traylor made it three from 12 yards.Tiverton sensed a goal when Hunt dropped the ball but Kyle Patten was there to clear.
Early in the second half , Traylor had a chance cleared off the line.Then Tiverton scored on 51 minutes with a header from Landricombe.
Could the away team take control? No. Traylor made it 4-1 with a curling effort from outside the box on 61 minutes.
Kerry Morgan came on for Owain Jones.Big substitute Tom Bath battled up front for Tivvy and Mark Smallcombe drove .
The game was played at a fast pace throughout, and the final goal saw Traylor's free-kick curl into the top far corner- an amazing strike on 69 minutes.
From a flag-kick, Prosser headed at Armstrong. At the other end, Patten cleared danger.
Hunt did well to save from Bath, and Landricombe struck the bar as the visitors never gave up.
In the late stages Cavan Williams came on for Traylor, who had a fine ovation, and Connor Young replaced Prosser.
Merthyr's previous home win was back on August 18-4-2 over Gosport Borough.But this was only their seventh home game compared to 12 on the road!
*Jarrad Wright and Corey Jenkins were sidelined with calf injuries.Craig Reddy and Lee Price have signed for Taff's Well and Ton Pentre on loan.