Merthyr Town's Elliot Richards (8) celebrates.

Triple Crown For Martyrs’ Ace Eliot In Memorable Win

Former Wales under-21 international Eliot Richards struck gold for Merthyr Town in their betVictor Southern League home match against promotion-chasing Taunton Town.

Former Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town and Tampa Bay Rowdies player Richards struck a hat-trick in Merthyr’s 4-2 win in front of more than 300 spectators at the MetCoaches Stadium.

The 28-year-old, from New Tredegar in the Rhymney Valley, led the Martyrs to an outstanding Premier South victory.

Defeat is a blow to Taunton hopes of going up this season and manager Rob Dray said: “Merthyr Town thoroughly deserved their win. 

“Gavin [Williams] has talked about Merthyr needing two wins to ensure they avoid relegation, but they are miles away from that now.

“It’s at places like the MetCoaches Stadium on a cold night that you measure yourself. We needed a positive result, but we weren’t great.

“The excuse culture is not for me. We can’t defend like that. Defensively we were soft.”  

Merthyr Town are nine points ahead of the relegation places and came from behind to beat Taunton. 

Oliver Chamberlain went ahead after two minutes, but Merthyr powered into a 4-1 lead thanks to goals from Richards (14, 33, 60) and Ian Traylor (49).

Chamberlain pulled a goal back with 11 minutes left, but Merthyr were excellent value for a valuable victory.

Gethyn Hill set up Richards for Merthyr’s first goal and he smashed home the chance.

Just after the half hour Richards found space around 20 yards out and curled his shot into the left corner!.

Richards completed his treble on the hour, turning home Ian Traylor’s effort to clinch the points for Merthyr.

Merthyr Town: Alex Harris, Dan Summerfield, Adam Davies (capt), Ismail Yakubu, Jarrad Wright, Ben Swallow, Lee Lucas, Eliot Richards, Gethyn Hill, Jamie Veale, Ian Traylor. Subs: Gavin Williams, Lewis Binns, Corey Jenkins 

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Jamie Short, Ross Staley, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes, Shane White (Matt Wright 46), Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Dan Sullivan, Harry Kite, Luke Spokes (Dan Demkiv 52). Subs not used: Jamie Price, Callum Watts, Lewis Hall

Attendance: 304

Former Cardiff City youth player James Waite scored a hat-trick for Weston-super-Mare in their 5-0 win against Wimborne Town. Samuel Hendy and Ryan Jones were Weston’s other scorers.

Merthyr Town remaining fixtures

February

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 

March

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

April

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

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