Merthyr Town's Welsh goalkeeper Alex Harris kept a clean sheet at Dorchester.

Martyrs Battle To Southern Premier Away Draw

Goalkeeper Alex Harris kept a clean sheet for the Martyrs, but they left Dorset feeling they should have taken all three points.

Merthyr Town faced a Dorchester Town team who have now gone six BetVictor Southern League fixtures without a win and are deep in relegation trouble.

The Martyrs created chances and hit a post at Clayson Road Stadium, while they almost grabbed a winner after 79 minutes from time when substitute Ryan Prosser headed a cross down and found Gethyn Hill. The striker lobbed goalkeeper Shane Murphy and found the net only to have his effort disallowed for offside.

Former Crystal Palace youth player Callum Brooks, the son of former Bournemouth midfield man Shaun and grandson of ex-Spurs and England inside forward John, is battling to lead a Dorchester revival.

“I demanded a reaction after our shocking defeat last weekend (0-6 v Weston),” said Callum. “It was essential that players stepped up and they did.

“Our workmate was good, we defended long balls excellently, our team shape was good and we passed more than we have for a while.

“It wasn’t a massively exciting game, but first and foremost it was important not to lose.

“Merthyr had some chances and our boys were lacking in confidence going into the match, but they dug in and did the ugly side.

“Stats say we have the worst defensive record in the division (27 goals conceded). We haven’t been good enough, the defeat at Weston was our tipping point and we nowhere to hide.”

Dorchester carved out an early chance when winger Tom Blair went past Ashley Evans on the left and picked out Bath 12 yards out with his cross. Goalkeeper Alex Harris flung himself acrobatically to push the ball on to a post before dealing with the loose ball.

Kieran Lewis picked out centre-forward Hill with a far post cross, but the header was just off target. 

Ian Traylor then beat a defender out wide, but his low drive flew wide of a post, and the same player made a brilliant run in behind before squaring a delicious ball to the feet of Lee Lucas who fired over the bar.

Traylor’s dipping second-half free-kick hit the bar as Merthyr pressed forward in search of an opening goal.

Right-back Kieran Lewis and Traylor both shone for Merthyr in a lacklustre match, while Dorchester edged out of the bottom two, above Farnborough, thanks to the draw. 

The Martyrs play Beaconsfield Town away on Saturday before Salisbury City visit the MetCoaches Stadium on Tuesday, October 22.

Dorchester Town: Shane Murphy, Ashley Wells, Tiago Sa, Neil Martin, Dan Strugnell (capt), Callum Rose, Luke Winsper, Billy Lowes, Tom Bath, Tom Blair, Sean Wright (Tom Purrington 61). Subs not used: Antonio Diaz, Cameron Sangster, River Smith, Nick Hutchings (gk).

Merthyr Town: Alex Harris, Dan Summerfield (Ryan Prosser 71), Jamie Veale, Ashley Evans (capt), Jarrad Wright, Kyle Patten, Kieran Lewis, Lee Lucas, Gethyn Hill, Eliot Richards (Corey Jenkins 84), Ian Traylor. Subs not used: Cameron Clarke (gk), Gavin Williams, Camden Duncan.

Attendance: 296

Referee: Ian Parsons

Merthyr Town will play Forest of Dean club Cinderford Town at their Causeway ground in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday, October 26.

Cinderford won 2-1 against Highworth in their midweek replay with James Harding scoring twice.

BetVictor Southern Premier South – 2019-2020 

Club P W D L F A GD -Pts Pts
Tiverton Town 12 8 2 2 34 15 19 26
Truro City 12 8 2 2 23 10 13 26
Poole Town 10 7 2 1 24 10 14 23
Chesham United 12 7 1 4 25 19 6 22
Salisbury 11 6 3 2 24 17 7 21
Swindon Supermarine 12 6 3 3 21 17 4 21
Taunton Town 12 5 4 3 20 19 1 19
Gosport Borough 12 5 3 4 12 9 3 18
Merthyr Town 12 5 2 5 14 12 2 17
Weston-super-Mare 11 4 4 3 21 14 7 16
Harrow Borough 11 4 3 4 15 16 -1 15
Blackfield & Langley 11 5 6 16 19 -3 15
Hartley Wintney 11 4 3 4 11 14 -3 15
Hayes & Yeading United 11 4 2 5 19 21 -2 14
Walton Casuals 11 4 1 6 15 18 -3 13
Yate Town 12 4 1 7 17 24 -7 13
Wimborne Town 12 3 3 6 16 20 -4 12
Farnborough 11 4 7 12 25 -13 12
Metropolitan Police 12 3 2 7 15 21 -6 11
Dorchester Town 12 2 3 7 14 27 -13 9
Hendon 10 1 4 5 13 20 -7 7
Beaconsfield Town 10 2 8 9 23 -14 6

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