Merthyr Town FC 3 : 0 St Neots Town FC
Merthyr Town FC 3 : 0
St Neots Town FC
Saturday 17 December, 2016 15:00


Southern League Premier Division


MERTHYR TOWN       3         ST NEOTS TOWN      0  


‘They were the best side we have played this season’ commented a senior St Neots player after the match and that seemed a very appropriate comment after the visitors had suffered one of their most comprehensive Southern League defeats ever.   Outplayed for much of the ninety minutes, St Neots – and in particular man of the match goalkeeper Alex Archer – did well to restrict their hosts to three goals whilst at the other end of the pitch only the occasional set piece brought the home keeper into action.    Short of ideas and confidence the reshaped visiting side were probably relieved to hear the final whistle as Archer pulled off another good save to deny leading home scorer Kayne McLaggon a second goal.   The St Neots line up saw the return to action of former skipper Tom Ward after a ten-match absence through injury and suspension and he was paired at the heart of the defence with recent signing James Goode because neither Tom Wood or Chevron McLean were available for the lengthy trip to South Wales.   James Hall and Rogan McGeorge are still injured so it  was a threadbare squad and few selection options for Manager Andy Davies.   The main shortcoming on the day was in midfield where Peter Clark and skipper Micky Hyem were well below their best so the front pair got little service and the back four seemed under constant pressure.


On the smart 3G surface St Neots began well enough repelling early attacks by the home side with Archer in early action to smother a close-range effort by Ian Traylor.  St Neots first attempt on goal was an opportunistic and audacious 45 yards’ lob from Declan Rogers who spotted home keeper Oliver Davies off his line after neat work by Nassim L’Ghoul, but the ball sailed just wide of its target.   In another St Neots sortie Peter Clark shot over the bar but most of the action was in the opposite direction with Archer turning a rising McLaggon shot for a corner and then the same player shot across the face of goal.   From a Scott Barrow cross the unmarked Ryan Prosser headed over the bar but after 32 minutes Archer distinguished himself with a staggering double save to deny both Prosser and Keyon Reffell after the St Neots defence had been breached.   Eight minutes before the break the overdue inevitable occurred as Merthyr went ahead as Ian Traylor weaved past three defenders cutting in from the left to beat Archer with a well-placed low shot.   From the restart it should have been a second goal as Traylor picked out the unmarked Prosser ten yards from goal but he headed tamely wide to St Neots’ relief.


Any hopes of a St Neots recovery were dashed within four minutes of the restart when St Neots failed to clear a corner and allowed Reffell to retrieve the ball and cross from the right for McLaggon to net through the packed penalty area.   St Neots sent on substitute Josh Coldicott-Stevens for his league debut for the out-of-sorts Nassim L’Ghoul and St Neots showed some defiance as Taylor Parr won a Rogers’ corner but could only head into the arms of the keeper.   Archer then twisted in the air to push a net bound deflected shot from Ashley Evans over for a corner but the Merthyr attacks kept coming and eight minutes from time the unfortunate Archer had to retrieve the ball from his net for the third time when despite getting his hand to a shot from substitute Eliot Richards the ball deflected in off the crossbar.   St Neots created two late set piece opportunities for a consolation goal but Tom Ward headed wide from a Rogers’ corner and then from a second Taylor Parr once again won the ball in the air but Davies saved.








St Neots:  Archer, Parr, Jonny Hall, Hyem, Ward, Goode, L’Ghoul, Clark (P), Rogers, Mulready, Day


Subs:   Coldicott-Stevens, (for L’Ghoul 51 mins), Gleeson, Maynard and Clarke (L).


Cards:  none




Goals:  none




Merthyr:  Davies (O), Davies (A), Barrow, Evans, McDonald, Tancock, Prosser, White, McLaggon, Reffell, Traylor


Subs:  Jenkins (for Prosser 70 mins),Richards (for Barrow 77 mins), Watkins (for Traylor 77 mins), Jones and Garner


Cards:  none




Goals:  Traylor (37), McLaggon (49), Richards (82)




Attendance: 484


Referee: Ollie Williams (Kidderminster)




John Walker