Corey Jenkins scores for Merthyr Town.

Gavin’s Martyrs Closing In On Southern League Survival

Merthyr Town are 13 fixtures away from the end of what has been a harrowing season.

Manager Gavin Williams and his players have done the Martyrs proud with their selfless commitment to an Evostik Southern League club it by financial problems.

The stability they have provided on the pitch has been crucial and Merthyr are on course to retain their Premier Division place.

A 1-1 draw against bottom club Gosport Borough is far from an exciting result, but Merthyr stay 26 points ahead of the Hampshire club and with only one club to be relegated that is a comfortable position.

Merthyr now play second from bottom Dunstable Town at home on Tuesday, February 13 (7.45pm) and a win in that fixture at the Loadlok Community Stadium would be another major step.

The Martyrs then entertain third from bottom St Ives Town on Saturday, February 17 (3pm).

Corey Jenkins scored for Merthyr at Gosport, while Stephane Bombelenga equalised nine minutes from time.

Gosport goalkeeper Patrick O’Flaherty, on loan from AFC Bournemouth, made some outstanding saves to deny the Martyrs.

Ian Traylor’s cross was gathered at the feet of Jenkins by O’Flaherty after two minutes, while the goalkeeper tipped a Traylor shot over after good work by Jaye Bowen.

Captain Ashley Ev and headed Traylor’s corner just wide, while centre-forward Ryan Prosser went close from another Traylor corner.

Jenkins scored Merthyr’s goal after 21 minutes when he volleyed home from a Bowen cross, while Harry Franklin almost made it 2-0 when he headed over after good work by Jenkins and Bowen.

Bombelenga netted to make it 1-1 after 81 minutes, while Merthyr almost scored a winner two minutes into injury time. An Evans header was saved by the alert O’Flaherty.

Craig Reddy returned to the squad after completing a four game ban, while Kerry Morgan was ruled out by injury.  Jarrad Wright completed his four match suspension by missing the game.

Gosport are currently bottom of the table having picked up 8 points from their 30 games.

Merthyr Town: Oliver Davies, Adam Davies, Scott Tancock, Kyle Patten, Matthew Harris, Ashley Evans, Jaye Bowen (Craig Reddy 61), Harry Franklin, Corey Jenkins, Ryan Prosser, Ian Traylor. Subs not used: Miles John, Harrison Lewis, Lee Price.

Normal admission at the Loadlok Community Stadium: Adult £10; Concessions £8 (Over 65’s, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County season ticket holders); Merthyr RFC season ticket holders £5; Under 16 £1.

EvoStik Southern League Premier Division

# Team Pl HW HD HL AW AD AL W D L F A Diff Pts
1. King’s Lynn Town 33 12 3 1 10 3 4 22 6 5 76 29 47 72
2. Hereford 30 12 1 2 10 4 1 22 5 3 75 26 49 71
3. Weymouth 34 11 3 3 10 3 4 21 6 7 75 39 36 69
4. Kettering Town 31 12 2 1 7 5 4 19 7 5 73 37 36 64
5. Royston Town 30 11 1 4 6 3 5 17 4 9 58 41 17 55
6. Slough Town 27 11 3 3 5 3 2 16 6 5 69 33 36 54
7. Chesham United 33 8 5 4 7 4 5 15 9 9 69 43 26 54
8. Banbury United 34 5 5 7 10 3 4 15 8 11 69 46 23 53
9. Tiverton Town 31 11 1 3 6 1 9 17 2 12 50 48 2 53
10. Frome Town 31 6 3 7 9 2 4 15 5 11 63 57 6 50
11. St Neots Town 33 7 4 6 5 7 4 12 11 10 59 61 -2 47
12. Hitchin Town 31 8 3 4 5 3 8 13 6 12 49 48 1 45
13. Basingstoke Town 31 9 3 2 3 3 11 12 6 13 66 49 17 42
14. Stratford Town 32 6 6 4 5 3 8 11 9 12 49 53 -4 42
15. Farnborough 34 7 2 8 5 3 9 12 5 17 63 83 -20 41
16. Biggleswade Town 32 6 5 4 5 2 10 11 7 14 36 38 -2 40
17. Redditch United 32 7 7 2 3 2 11 10 9 13 53 51 2 39
18. Dorchester Town 34 9 1 7 1 7 9 10 8 16 52 67 -15 38
19. Merthyr Town 33 5 5 6 3 6 8 8 11 14 52 71 -19 35
20. Bishop’s Stortford 32 5 3 8 4 4 8 9 7 16 47 57 -10 34
21. Kings Langley 33 3 7 6 2 4 11 5 11 17 42 70 -28 26
22. St Ives Town 31 2 4 8 4 2 11 6 6 19 39 71 -32 24
23. Dunstable Town 33 2 1 14 1 2 13 3 3 27 21 104 -83 12
24. Gosport Borough 31 1 2 13 1 1 13 2 3 26 20 103 -83 9

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