Basingstoke Town 2, Merthyr Town 0
The Martyrs were out-Smarted at the Camrose in Hampshire.
Attacking midfield player Sam Smart scored both Basingstoke Town goals during the second half and ended Merthyr’s unbeaten record.
Manager Gavin Williams’ team were punished for defensive errors after missing chances of their own in this Southern League Premier Division match.
Stuart Fleetwood and Jarrad Wright both went close for Merthyr early on, while Ian Traylor found space inside the Basingstoke penalty area but slipped at the crucial moment.
It was a wet and windy night in Basingstoke and the conditions led to both teams making errors at time.
Scott Hancock produced some good defensive work to deny Basingstoke, while Ashley Evans almost netted for Merthyr with a shot from 25 yards.
There were spells of dangerous attacking play from Merthyr, but the home team went ahead after 67 minutes when Ashley Evans was dispossessed and Smart chipped goalkeeper Davies. It was a clinical finish by Smart.
Fleetwood shot just wide after Traylor picked him out with a pass before Basingstoke made it 2-0. Davies handled outside his penalty area and the referee played advantage with Smart finishing coolly to take his tally to six goals in his last four appearances.
Merthyr are in FA Cup action this Saturday when they are away against Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup second qualifying round before turning to successive Southern League fixtures at the Loadlok Stadium.They are against Royston Town (Saturday, September 23) and Tiverton Town (Tuesday, September 26).
The clash with Havant means a return to Hampshire for manager Williams and his Merthyr team. He will demand a big performance as they aim to make FA Cup progress.
Merthyr Town: O Davies, A Davies, S Tancock, J Wright, C Pring, A Evans, R Patten, E Richards, I Traylor, C Jenkins, S Fleetwood. Subs: K Patten, J Bowen, K Copp, K Morgan, M Touray.