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Merthyr Town 1 - 0 Evesham Utd

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2014 06:03pm
Evesham, Wychavon
By Mike Peplow
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Merthyr Town needed a second-half goal by Ian Traylor to keep their Calor League South & West title hopes alive against a determined Evesham side who were unlucky to leave The Cigg-e-Stadium emtpy handed on Easter Monday.
Evesham gave the Welshmen some anxiuos moments in front of the Martyr`s biggest crowd of the season before Traylor settled the game to keep Merthyr`s unbeaten home league record intact for the season.
United made an energetic start and could have been two-up inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour. Lance Smith who was again Evesham`s most dangerous player had his shot smothered by Lee Idzi after the Town stopper had got a hand to Jared Wilson`s firmly struck free-kick and then Smith arriving at the back post brushed the woodwork following Wilson`s pin-point corner.
Merthyr who went into the game needing nothing less than a victory to have a chance of finishing top, looked a frustrated unit and uneasy as Evesham continued to look the better side.
The woodwork then prevented Carl Brown from giving United a shock lead when his cross-cum-shot deceived Idzi and smacked against the crossbar before being cleared.
Merthyr finally came out of their shell during the latter stages of the first period when Kayne McLaggon`s deadball strike had Louie Barnfather going full stretch to make a flying save.
Barnfather was then called upon to make another important save from Traylor at the start of the second-half and at the other end, Nathan Jackson found the back of Idzi`s net only to have the `goal` disallowed for a foul on the Merthyr keeper.
But on 59 minutes, Merthyr broke away to score the game`s only goal when the lively Traylor got on the end of Gavin Williams` left-wing cross to glance in a header past the diving Barnfather.
Immediately after coming on, substitute Ryan Prosser powered a header goalwards that Barnfather did very well to keep out and McLaggon curled an effort wide as the home side ventured forward in search of a deciding second goal.
It never arrived and despite late Evesham pressure, Merthyr held firm to take their Championship hopes into the final weekend of the season.
EVESHAM UNITED: Barnfather, Tambling, Mansell, Wilson, Wellon, Sauntson, Brown, Powell
(Bowen 56), Smith, Kennedy, Jackson (Evans 70).
SUBS NOT USED: Hitchman, Palmer.

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