Winsper 61


Traylor 16, 47

A CLINICAL double from Ian Traylor condemned Dorchester Town to their second home defeat of 2018 as Merthyr Town won 2-1 in their Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division clash at the Avenue Stadium.

Traylor latched onto a dreadful backpass from Neil Martin to curl home on 16 minutes, before surging past the left-back on 47 minutes to give Merthyr a lead they would not relinquish.

Dorchester hit the bar twice before Luke Winsper’s thunderous strike on 61 minutes, but despite a gripping finish the hosts could not level.

Hours before kick-off, Dorchester announced the signing of winger Aaron Rodriguez on a permanent deal from rivals Weymouth. Rodriguez was able to make the Magpies’ matchday squad as the move was ratified in time by league authorities.

Aside from the addition of Rodriguez, Kyle Egan and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, making his first start for the club, came in for Tom Blair, who was absent from the squad completely with illness, and Sam Lanahan, who dropped to the bench.

In a scrappy opening, which was interrupted by several blows of referee Ciaran Barlow’s whistle, Merthyr fashioned the first real chance of the game when Magpies’ skipper Gary Bowles was penalised for a 50/50 tackle.

From the free-kick, Traylor’s clipped delivery found Harry Franklyn, who had crept round the back of the defence, but the midfielder tamely tapped his effort wide when unmarked 12 yards out.

But on 12 minutes Dorchester squandered a superb chance when Archie Collins’ deft chipped through ball over the top set the Bournemouth loanee clean through, but he blazed his shot over from 15 yards.

Four minutes later, Merthyr were gifted the opening goal. Magpies’ defenders Martin and Ross Carmichael were closed down by Owain Jones and Traylor and Martin’s attempted backpass was woefully under-hit, presenting Traylor with a simple chance to curl an effort past the stranded Chris Weale.

And the visitors could have doubled their lead but for an excellent tackle from Carmichael as Jones bore down on goal following a block tackle from Kyle Patten.

Merthyr captain Ashley Evans then headed over from a Cory Jenkins cross as the Welsh side pushed for a second.

Dorchester improved towards the end of the half and Ed Bastick’s mis-control landed ideally for the impressive Leigh-Gilchrist, who planted a curling drive just wide from 18 yards despite slipping.

Merthyr would have made it 2-0 but for the heroics of Weale, who showed sharp reflexes to tip over Traylor’s sweetly-timed volley.

Weale had to make two more saves, firstly when Jones struck powerfully from a Traylor cross, before the latter mugged Callum Rose from the rebound and sent a stinging shot at Weale at the near post as Merthyr failed to add to their lead before half-time.

But it took the Martyrs just 86 seconds of the second half to score again, as Traylor, who had 10 yards to gain on Martin, outpaced the left-back, shrugged him off and slid a composed finish past Weale from 12 yards.

Jones, who had worked hard all game, was then sent through on goal but a heavy touch allowed Weale to gather.

Dorchester again began to improve after a sluggish start to the half and substitute Billy Lowes, on for skipper Gary Bowles, saw a shot blocked after Pope’s accurate cross from the right.

Fresh from scoring his second, Traylor was put through on goal but mystifyingly let the ball travel too deep into the Magpies’ box, enabling Dorchester’s man-of-the-match Weale to smother at his feet.

Dorchester burst into life after the hour mark, as Archie Collins’ dipping shot and a header from away sub Ryan Prosser both hit the bar before Winsper slammed a rising drive into the top-right corner of Ed Hewitson’s goal.

Winsper’s finish set up a grandstand finale as Dorchester pursued a leveller, but Weale nullified a third one-on-one of the match when saving low at substitute Kerry Morgan’s feet.

Callum Rose nearly equalised in stoppage time, guiding the ball around a crowd of prostrate bodies, but he blasted wide as Merthyr held on to win a poor contest.

Magpies: Weale, Egan, Martin (Lanahan 74), Rose, Carmichael, Bowles (Lowes 46), Bastick, Winsper, Pope (Rodriguez 74), Leigh-Gilchrist, Collins. Subs not used: Ayunga, Brookes

Merthyr: Hewitson, A Davies, Tancock, Evans, Patten, Harris, Jenkins (Prosser 56), Wright, Jones (Morgan 64), Franklyn (Reddy 70), Traylor. Subs not used: John, Price

Attendance: 409

Referee: Ciaran Barlow (Falmouth)


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