Bideford 0 Merthyr Town 1
14 Apr 2016, Thursday

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Merthyr Town consigned Bideford to relegation with a 1-0 victory at The Sports Ground.

With Davies fully recovered he came in at left back with Bloom dropping to the bench.  In the absence of Jones, Wright continued as part of the back 4 and Traylor came in for Jenkins who was not fully fit after his injury on Saturday 

Bideford, needing a win to keep their Premier Division status came close to gaining an early goal when on the 10 minute mark Wood sent the ball into the Merthyr area and Squire, with his back to goal on the 6 yard line got in a good header which came back off the bar and away to safety.  The remainder of the half remained to be a tight affair.  Bideford got a few balls into our box which were either dealt with by the Wright/Baggridge. Garner, in the Merthyr goal had little to do other than to field hopeful crosses or deal with the odd through ball or back pass.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first.  Captain Ashley Evans rarely scores poor goals and he nearly got another stormer when he latched onto a poor clearance and from about 25 yards sent in a half volley which flew just past Moore’s right hand post.

The break through was always going to come from a set piece and on the balance of play it was correct that Merthyr got it.  Just after the hour mark Brown sent a good ball into the Bideford area and McLaggon tried to bring it under control with his back to goal near the penalty spot was unceremoniously hauled down by an amalgamation of a couple of Bideford defenders and referee James Durkin had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and his decision was met with little or no reaction from the Bideford team.  Ryan Prosser stroked the ball into the right hand corner of Moore’s net with the keeper going to his left and Merthyr were 1 up.

Bideford rarely troubled Garner’s goal after falling behind. Hugh replaced the hard working McLaggon and shortly afterwards, Traylor sent in a low free kick from just inside the Merthyr half into the Bideford box and it came off Baggridge towards Moore who fumbled it but managed to get control at the second attempt.  Traylor then got himself into a good position near the byline in the Bideford box but instead of trying to find a colleague he lashed a shot across goal which went out of play for a throw on the far side and shortly afterwards, Traylor was replaced by Jenkins.  Garner did have one save to make when a Bideford attacker broke into the Merthyr area and got a shot away which was easily dealt with by the Merthyr keeper.  Just before the end Jordan Chappelle came on for Brown to make his league debut.  Referee James Durkin blew the final whistle to send the dozen or so Martyrs fans back to Wales happy.

We finish the season with two more difficult away games at Weymouth & Chesham in this trilogy to follow before our final game a week on Saturday at the Park against Slough.

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