Merthyr Town's Corey Jenkins takes on two defenders. Pic: Peter Harman.

Martyrs Take On League Bottom Three Challenge

Merthyr Town are ensuring they stay well clear of relegation danger thanks to a bottom three challenge.

The Martyrs drew against bottom club Gosport Borough away and defeated second-from-bottom Dunstable Town at the Loadlok Community Stadium on Tuesday evening.

This Saturday manager Gavin Williams and his Merthyr team entertain St Ives Town and the Cambridgeshire club are just above Dunstable.

Merthyr are 19th in the Southern League Premier Division table and they are 29 and 26 points ahead of the bottom two with only one relegation place this season.

St Ives come to South Wales on Saturday standing 12 points ahead of Dunstable – and 14 behind the Martyrs. A win at home would ease Williams’ men further clear of danger with 11 fixtures remaining.

Bearded striker Ryan Prosser has made a landmark 300 appearances for the club, who will mark his achievement with a presentation  before Saturday’s home clash with Cambridgeshire visitors St Ives (3pm).

The Martyrs were given earned victory against Dunstable with a much-needed win on a bitterly cold Tuesday night.

Defender Adam Davies, who had been unwell at the weekend, was among the substitutes, the side being re-shuffled with teenage loanee Harry Franklin, who joined the Martyrs from Hereford, in the number two shirt.

The Bedfordshire side, who also have money problems and a nil playing budget, were sharp from the start with Ryan Young a livewire on the wing. He forced ‘keeper Oliver Davies to make an early stop.

Franklin was called to clear one dangerous Dunstable attack before, in a Merthyr raid, Jarrad Wright headed over from Corey Jenkins’ cross.

Visiting Captain Gedeon Okito was tenacious in trying to tame Ian Traylor, while he was on the cover to clear from Jaye Bowen after he was sent through by Prosser.

Dunstable went ahead on 19 minutes through Ethan Lampty from an Andrew Osei-Bonsu cross and at that stage the Martyrs were struggling to get a grip on the game.

The second half was a different story with Merthyr looking more direct and taking control, pushing forward and taking the game to Dunstable.

Two goals in five minutes turned the match. On 54 minutes Wright jumped to beat ‘keeper Will Hunt from Traylor’s corner.

Then Ashley Evans nipped in to follow up from Prosser and drill the ball home to make to 2-1.

Hunt saved from Wright as the visitors were pushed back, while there were a few scares for Merthyr at the back, but they made sure of maximum points when Traylor went through to score after 83 minutes.

Merthyr Town: O Davies, Franklin (Reddy 88), Tancock, Evans (capt), Patten, Wright, Jenkins (Lee Price 90), Harris, Prosser, Bowen (Adam Davies 73), Traylor. Subs not used: Harrison Lewis, Miles John.

Attendance 256.

Admission prices to Saturday’s home match against St Ives are £10 adults. Concessions £8 (Over 65’s, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County season ticket holders). Merthyr RFC season ticket holders £5; Under-16 £1.

Southern League Premier Division table

# 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. Chesham United 34 8 5 4 7 5 5 15 10 9 69 43 26 55
6. Royston Town 30 11 1 4 6 3 5 17 4 9 58 41 17 55
7. Slough Town 27 11 3 3 5 3 2 16 6 5 69 33 36 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 32 8 4 4 5 3 8 13 7 12 49 48 1 46
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 34 6 5 6 3 6 8 9 11 14 55 72 -17 38
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 34 2 1 14 1 2 14 3 3 28 22 107 -85 12
24. Gosport Borough 31 1 2 13 1 1 13 2 3 26 20 103 -83 9

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