Merthyr Town faced another daunting test when Taunton Town make the trip from Somerset to South Wales on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).
The Martyrs could not stop Chesham United going clear at the top of BetVictor Southern League Premier on Saturday, losing 2-0 away, and now they take on promotion chasing Taunton at the MetCoaches Stadium.
Steve Brown (24 mins) and Eoin Casey (49) scored the Chesham goals against Merthyr in front of 561 spectators at the Meadow, while Taunton were 2-1 winners at Swindon Supermarine to move in to fourth place.
Bradley Clayton, a 21-year-old attacking midfield player, has been the driving force behind Chesham’s rise to the top of Premier South.
He signed for Chesham after being released by Brentford, adding quality and goals to the team.
— Chesham United FC (@cheshamutdfc) February 9, 2020
Clayton was man of the match against Merthyr, who are in mid-table.
The Martyrs went close when Ian Traylor went close with a shot after breaking down the left, while Chesham grew into the game and put their visitors under pressure.
After 19 minutes Zak Joseph challenged for Mark Kirby’s long pass and when the ball ran loose Clayton fired in a shot which was tipped over by goalkeeper Alex Harris.
Billy Adcock took the resulting corner low, Steve Brown dummied and Joseph’s shot was cleared off the line.
Chesham went ahead after 24 minutes when Clayton went for goal and Harris parried the ball into the air. Brown headed in from close range to put Chesham ahead.
Harris saved well from Joseph before the home team went 2-0 ahead after 49 minutes. Adcock’s corner was met by Mark Kirby on the edge of the penalty area.
His shot was blocked, but Casey netted the loose ball.
GOAL Bradley Clayton's shot is saved after a short corner and Steve Browns goalscoring form continues as he is quickest to the rebound and nods home
— CUFC Matchday Live (@CheshamUtd_Live) February 8, 2020
Merthyr made three substitutions before the hour mark with Gethyn Hill, Lee Lucas and Lewis Binns going on.
Eliot Richards went close for the Martyrs when his goal-bound shot was deflected wide.
Chesham United: Ben Goode, Jeanmal Prosper, Kyle Watson, Adam Martin, Mark Kirby, Steve Brown, Zak Joseph (Ronny Mfinda 87), Billy Adcock, Eoin Casey, Karl Oliyide (Dernell Wynter 60), Bradley Clayton. Subs not used: Dave Pearce, Sam Jenkins, Kieran Murphy
Merthyr Town: Alex Harris, Ben Swallow, Adam Davies (cape), Ismail Yakubu, Jarrad Wright, Dan Summerfield, Corey Jenkins (Gethyn Hill 45), Eliot Richards, Owain Jones (Lee Lucas 56), Jamie Veale (Lewis Binns 56), Ian Traylor. Sub not used: Gavin Williams.
Merthyr Town remaining fixtures
Tuesday 11 Merthyr Town v Taunton Town
Saturday 15 Merthyr Town v Dorchester Town
Saturday 22 Blackfield and Langley v Merthyr Town
Tuesday 25 Wimborne Town v Merthyr Town
Saturday 29 Merthyr Town v Beaconsfield Town
Saturday 7 Salisbury v Merthyr Town
Saturday 14 Taunton v Merthyr Town
Saturday 21 Merthyr Town v Truro City
Saturday 28 Hayes and Yeading v Merthyr Town
Saturday 4 Merthyr Town v Poole Town
Saturday 11 Merthyr Town v Tiverton Town
Monday 13 Yate Town v Merthyr Town
Saturday 18 Hartley Wintney v Merthyr Town
Saturday 25 Merthyr Town v Hendon
The all-important goal that put step 4's @halesowentownfc through to the next round of the FA Trophy against @TheVanaramaNL's @FCHTOnline @rob_evans17 with the perfectly weighted pass right where Jamie Molyneux asked for it, who slots home.
— YeltzTV (@Yeltz_TV) February 9, 2020
There are two BetVictor Southern League clubs through to the Buildbase FA Trophy quarter-finals – and both have been drawn away.
Halesowen, who play in Southern One Central, have gone through seven rounds and played 12 games with replays on their way to the last eight.
James Molyneux (49 mins) scored the Halesowen goal which defeated Halifax Town in the last 16.
The Yeltz – nobody is certain where the nickname originated – played three times at the ‘old’ Wembley Stadium, in the 1983, 1985 and 1986 FA Vase Finals, and now travel to play Vanarama National League Barnet in the Trophy.
Premier Division Central promotion-chasers Royston Town defeated National League Ebbsfleet United 2-0 after extra-time at the Kuflink Stadium.
Substitute Josh Oyinsan’s far post header during the opening minutes of extra-time was followed by a Matt Bateman effort on 113 minutes.
Buildbase FA Trophy quarter-finals (to be played Saturday, February 29): AFC Fylde v Harrogate, Concord Rangers v Royston Town, Notts County v Aveley, Barnet v Halesowen.