Twamley 12, Hillman 54, Mehew 90


Le Thomas 20

DORCHESTER Town were knocked out of the Isuzu FA Trophy at the third qualifying round but not without testing high-flying Merthyr Town at Penydarren Park.

In new boss Tom Killick’s first game, the Magpies went 1-0 down when Lewys Twamley blasted home from the edge of the box but Leighton Thomas equalised after latching onto a long ball.

Dorchester went on to hit the post through Jordan Ngalo and had a Shaq Gwengwe goal ruled offside either side of Tom Hillman mopping up to score from a Lloyd Thomas parry.

Former Dorchester striker Olly Mehew then settled matters after a straight red card for centre-back Will Spetch.

READ MORE: Merthyr Town 3-1 Dorchester Town - how it happened

The result seemed harsh on Dorchester but the early exit from a cup competition ultimately followed a painful pattern of recent seasons.

Dorchester boss Killick made three changes to the side that began the 5-0 loss to Plymouth Parkway last time out.

Jordi Barnett, Alex Moyse and Jake Graziano all started at the expense of Louie Slough, Lewis Waterfield and Jack Dickson, the latter's red card ruling him out with suspension.

Slough and Waterfield dropped to the bench, joining Lewis Toms, Benjani Jr and Ieuan Turner, the latter earning a recall to the squad.

There was no place for Jack Wright, who moved to Hamworthy with an immediate recall option only for the Hammers to withdraw from league competition on Friday.

Dorchester have already visited Penydarren Park this season, losing 3-2 on the opening day to a side currently placed second in their league.

And in a frantic first half, chances flowed as Lloyd Thomas had to save one-on-one with Ricardo Rees in the first minute.

At the other end, Leighton Thomas closed down Merthyr keeper Will Fuller but could not put away the rebound before Hillman tested Lloyd Thomas in the next attack.

Moyse blasted wide after good work from Gwengwe but it was Merthyr who drew first blood in the 12th minute.

Twamley’s goal came after a Dorchester error in midfield, the Martyrs’ attacker picking up possession and beating his man on the edge of the box before lashing past Thomas.

Dorchester were only behind for eight minutes as Leighton Thomas outpaced the Merthyr defence, meeting a long ball and slotting beyond Fuller.

His goal gave Dorchester the initiative and the Magpies nearly made it 2-1 when he played Gwengwe through, only for Fuller to rescue the hosts.

Tom Handley rifled wide and Rees worked Lloyd Thomas as Merthyr pushed for a second without luck before the break.

Dorchester began the second half with serious intent and nearly took the lead when Ngalo met Barnett’s cross, only to watch his effort clatter the post.

His poor luck was underlined as Merthyr retook the lead on 54 minutes.

Thomas could only parry a cross-goal shot from Handley and Hillman was first to pounce on the loose ball, burying with ease into the unguarded net.

Two minutes later, Dorchester thought they had equalised again but for the offside flag to scrub out Gwengwe’s finish past Fuller.

Rees curled wide for Merthyr, who still had to be alert as Dorchester tried their utmost to regain parity, Merthyr’s Joe Woodiwiss making a superb defensive header under pressure.

But the Magpies’ task was made more difficult by a straight red card for the experienced Will Spetch, Dorchester’s second dismissal in two games, with 15 minutes to go.

Killick responded by subbing Graziano for Turner, but instead it was Merthyr who went close next as Thomas repelled Rees once more.

Barnett and Moyse made way for Louie Slough and Benjani Jr in the closing stages but, as Dorchester pushed on, Merthyr exploited the extra space to settle the tie.

Mehew was the beneficiary, cutting in from the left, driving into space and unleashing a powerful effort past Thomas.

The outcome seemed harsh on Dorchester but they were left with only £650 in prize money consolation as Merthyr reached the main draw.

Dorchester travel to league leaders Gosport on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Merthyr: Fuller, Handley, Woodiwiss, Rhodes (Keeping 73), Angel, J Evans (K Evans 82), F Thomas, Twamley (Hill 61), Hillman, Rees, Mehew. Subs not used: Cogman, Harris, Stokes, Jones.

Magpies: Ll Thomas, Graziano (Turner 76), Haste, Moyse (Slough 79), Ngalo, Foot, Barnett (Benjani 87), Moore, Le Thomas, Moore, Spetch. Subs not used: Toms, Waterfield.