Merthyr Town 2 Slough Town 0
25 Apr 2016, Monday

Keyon Reffell scores the opening goal for Merthyr  Town (2).jpg

Merthyr eventually ran out the winners of an eventful match which was by no means a typical end of season-type game between two teams with nothing to play for.

With Ryan Prosser not in the squad Corey Jenkins started in an otherwise unchanged Merthyr side.

The first moment of danger from either side came after 8 minutes when Jon Brown's ball forward to Kayne McLaggon failed to be cut out by a defender, leaving McLaggon free to run into the area where he seemed to be brought down, however play was waved on.

With 15 minutes gone Merthyr were close to scoring when Keyon Reffell got free down the left and ran into the box before squaring the ball across for Kayne McLaggon and Jon Brown to have shots blocked at close range by defenders and the keeper.

McLaggon then evaded two defenders with a piece of clever play and combined with Jon Brown to run into the area where he was tackled, and this time a penalty was given. However, Ian Traylor saw his spot kick saved by the keeper going down to his left

The closest Slough came to a goal in the first half came when a cross was headed away to an attacker on the right of the area and he fired a shot across the face of goal and narrowly past the far post. About a minute later Corey Jenkins did well with a typically pacey run down the right and put the ball to Keyon Reffell in the area but his shot was blocked for a corner.

Three minutes before the break Reffell got in a shot from the edge of the area which drew a fine save from Slough goalkeeper Mark Scott to push it away, and a minute later Slough had their keeper to thank again when Ashley Evans, given a lot of space in midfield, ran forward and fired in a shot which was deflected. With it dipping just under the bar Scott got up to tip it over.

Four minutes into the second half Merthyr had an opportunity when Ian Traylor, under some pressure, shot over the bar from just inside the area after Keyon Reffell had laid the ball back to him.

Slough's keeper then seemed to be in some discomfort after clearing the ball, and after receiving treatment had to go off not long afterwards with a groin strain. Midfielder Gurkan Gokman took over in goal, and with their star man of the first half no longer in the game things got worse for Slough soon afterwards when defender Dan Hicks launched into a tackle on Keyon Reffell from which he came off worse. However, after receiving treatment he was shown a straight red card and Merthyr were facing a team with not only a stand-in keeper but also down to ten men. 

Just six minutes elapsed before the Martyrs took advantage of the situation and the game was effectively over as a contest when Keyon Reffell combined with Kayne McLaggon on the edge of the area before slotting the ball past the stand-in keeper.

Jaye Bowen was given some game time in midfield in place of Jon Brown, and a couple of minutes later the score was 2-0 when a long free kick into the area was headed straight into the net by Rhys Baggridge.

Stand-in keeper Gokman then perhaps showed why he was the player given that task when he saved with his legs from Ian Traylor who got in a close range shot at the near post after being set up by Keyon Reffell.  Gokman did even better from the resulting corner, pushing the ball away from a Corey Jenkins header at the near post.

With 14 minutes to go Scott Tancock and Chris Hugh came on in straight swaps for Rhys Baggridge and James Bloom respectively.

With Merthyr well on top against the 10 men it was a question of whether they could score any more, but they were unable to manage it, with Adam Davies perhaps a little unfortunate to see his shot from the right of the area go wide of the far post after he was played in by Ian Traylor.

So, Merthyr ended the season in a solid 10th place with a deserved win in front of another good crowd, having looked the better side even when Slough had a full-strength side on the pitch.

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