Merthyr Town 4, Slough Town 5
The Martyrs went from heroes to zeroes on an astonishing night at the Loadlok Community Stadium.
Title-chasing Slough Town were four goals down in less than 20 minutes, but recovered to win the Southern League Premier Division fixture.
Merthyr Town players slumped to the pitch, while the visiting Rebels team celebrated wildly after scoring a winner three minutes into injury time.
It was a shocking defeat for the Martyrs, who have conceded 10 goals in two matches, losing 5-0 at Kettering before capitulating against Slough.
The visitors have now scored 36 goals in 11 League games this season have a squad full of quality, pace and physical strength.
But Merthyr outplayed them from the start in an Ian Traylor inspired opening which left Slough players gasping.
Taylor and Mo Touray combined beautifully, while Jaye Bowen was running the show from midfield.
This was the reaction manager Gavin Williams demanded after their hammering at Kettering, but having powered into a big lead Merthyr lost their composure, made awful decisions and let Slough back in.
I watched Cardiff City collapse in this fashion during 2009 when manager Dave Jones looked 0n in dismay as the Bluebirds lost a 4-0 half-time lead. But at least they held on for a draw.
Joe Ledley (2), Jay Bothroyd and Peter Whittingham were the City scorers before the Posh fightback and Jones said: “My players deserve all the berating that can be thrown at them. They let everybody down.
“They let the fans down, they let me down, they let the staff down and more importantly they let themselves down in the second half.
“It was just one-way traffic. Pure domination and it is a hard pill for me to swallow.”
Slough threw everything they had at Merthyr and the home team did not have the knowhow and intensity to see the game out. The winner came after Merthyr needlessly lost possession when they were deep in the opposing half.
Taylor (4 mins), Touray (10), an own goal by Mark Nisbett after great work by Bowen (19) and Traylor (20) again put the Martyrs in command. ‘Traylz’ should have completed his hat-trick when he burst clear and rolled his shot past the keeper only to see his effort bounced back off a post.
Slough fought every step of the way in the second half and Merthyr could not match their desire and commitment to the cause. They had outworked their visitors during the first half, but this was a new-look Slough with belief in their hearts.
Nathan Snartt smashed home their first and Merthyr were rocking. When Slough had scored three the home team turned to experienced Curtis McDonald to add a little extra strength, but James Dobson equalised after 89 minutes – and then his deflected shot flew into the corner for a Slough winner after 89 minutes.
It was shocked for Merthyr fans to witness. They could scarcely believe it. Their team had ripped apart one of the best teams in the Premier Division and then thrown away their advantage.
Merthyr Town: O Davies, A Davies, C Pring, A Evans (capt), J Wright, S Tancock, J Bowen, K Patten, M Touray, E Richards, I Traylor. Subs used: C McDonald, R Patten, C Jenkins. Subs not used: K Copp, K Morgan.
Referee: Neil Pratt (Birmingham).