Merthyr Town's Welsh goalkeeper Alex Harris was sent off for dissent at Salisbury and is facing a suspension.

Martyrs Aim For Southern Premier Double V Taunton

Merthyr Town head for Somerset on Saturday aiming to complete a BetVictor Southern Premier League double.

The Martyrs take on Taunton Town at their Cygnet Health Care Stadium having beaten their hosts 4-2 earlier this season.

Former Bristol Rovers and Exeter City player Eliot Richards scored a hat-trick and Ian Traylor netted one at the MetCoaches Stadium in Merthyr Tydfil.

That result ended Taunton’s five-match unbeaten run and their head of football Rob Dray said: “Tactics are a bit null and void on a Tuesday night at Merthyr.

“You have got to dig in, roll your sleeves up and defend better than we did. We conceded a couple of bad goals.

“It’s a difficult pitch to play on, but we can’t have any excuses.”

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“If you have aspirations of winning the league or qualifying for the play-offs you have to go to these places and earn a positive result.

Taunton will be fired up for Merthyr’s visit having suffered a 4-0 defeat at Farnborough on Wednesday, a result which leaves them two points outside the play-offs.

Merthyr were spared a trip to Weston-super-Mare this week when their scheduled fixture was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, while they were edged out 2-1 at Salisbury last weekend.

Home manager Steve Claridge’s view was: “A game to forget, but we took the three points.”

The Martyrs went ahead after Lewis Binns overlapped out wide and crossed low for Owain Jones, whose crisp finish flew into the corner past goalkeeper Marcus Beauchamp after 15 minutes.

Salisbury had the chance to equalise soon after when they were awarded a penalty. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick tricked his way past three defenders before being fouled. 

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Referee Declan O’Shea awarded the spot-kick, but Dan Fitchett’s spot-kick flew well over the bar.

Danny Williams, who is with Merthyr on loan from Cardiff City, fired against a post after breaking clear, while Lewis Benson’s free-kick for the home team was superbly saved by Harris.

Taunton, though, levelled the scores when Benson’s corner to the far post hit Jones and went into Merthyr’s net.

Merthyr goalkeeper Harris protested loudly and the referee took exception to his words, sending the ‘keeper off just before the hour.

The Martyrs were well organised and disciplined, but teenager Tom Leak fired Salisbury’s winning goal after 79 minutes. Leak, aged 19 and on loan from Walsall, finishing clinically from Benson’s cross to the near post. 

It was a fitting way to end his five month stay with Taunton in his final appearance for Taunton.

Salisbury FC: Marcus Beauchamp, Kevin Amankwaah, Josh Sommerton, Ollie Knowles, Tom Leak, Jake Wannell, Lewis Benson, Darren Mullings, Toby Holmes (Owen Howe 77), Dan Fitchett, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick. Subs not used: Warren Bentley, Danny Young, Alexander Lafleur.

Merthyr Town: Alex Harris, Adam Davies, capt (Rhys Williams 67), Lewis Binns, Jamie Veale, Jarrad Wright, Dan Summerfield, Camden Duncan (Gavin  Williams 77), Eliot Richards, Danny Williams, Ben Swallow, Owain Jones. Subs not used: None

Attendance: 547        

Referee: Declan O’Shea

Merthyr have re-arranged league fixtures against Dorchester Town and Weston-super-Mare.

Tuesday, March 24- Weston-Super-Mare (A) – 7:45pm

Tuesday, April 7 – Dorchester Town (H) – 7:45pm

Merthyr Town remaining fixtures

March

Saturday 14 Taunton v Merthyr Town

Saturday 21 Merthyr Town v Truro City

Tuesday 24 Weston-super-Mare v Merthyr Town

Saturday 28 Hayes and Yeading v Merthyr Town

Tuesday 31 Truro City v Merthyr Town

April

Saturday 4 Merthyr Town v Poole Town

Tuesday 7 Merthyr Town v Dorchester 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

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