Merthyr Town 5-1 Tiverton Town
By Simon Ellis
Yellows mauled at Merthyr
On the odd occasion as a football fan you have to hold your hands up and say beaten by the better side and while there is an element of truth in that, the Yellows will have been bitterly disappointed with their performance at the Penydarren Stadium, especially as the hosts were forced to play a huge chunk of the match with only ten men after an early red card for former Yellows keeper Joe Perry. An unchanged line up was the reward for the performance in the goal-less draw with Hendon last time out, which meant only a place on the bench for the returning Mammola after missing the afore mentioned draw while the hosts replaced Matthew Harris with Ian Traylor to devastating effect, from those who had won three-nil at Basingstoke three days earlier. Goals from Ryan Prosser, Lee Lucas and the returning Traylor had the hosts in complete control at the interval, Levi Landricombe headed home early in the second half to spark hopes of a revival before Traylor added two more to complete his hat-trick and condemn the visitors to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Early to-ing and fro-ing was quickly forgotten about when Perry lost all sense of his surroundings as he came out to claim a bouncing through ball, which he handled outside of his allotted area and after consultation with his assistant who had flagged the offence, the referee was left with no option but to dismiss him as early as the eighth minute and the Martyrs full-back Joe Hunt assumed the goalkeeping duties. Disappointingly though, it took another thirty seven minutes before the replacement keeper was tested from a Jordan Rogers header and by which time the hosts were three up, that said Levi Landricombe was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring in the sixteenth minute when his curling free kick from the right crashed back in to play off the crossbar. Ryan Prosser swept home a Kieran Lewis free kick on twenty two, Lee Lucas smacked home a beauty off the underside of the crossbar from twenty five yards five minutes later and Traylor rolled home the third shortly before the interval after dumping Armstrong and Hall on to the seat of their pants. Levi Landricombe did reduce the arrears seven minutes after the interval with his ninth league goal of the season when he headed home Josh Keys` accurate back post cross before an unwanted hat-trick befell him as two more efforts smacked off Hunts crossbar and by which time Traylor had completed his hat-trick and the scoring, with two superb curling efforts that Armstrong could do nothing about nor get anywhere near.
Tiverton: Liam Armstrong, Josh Key, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Michael Landricombe, Harrison Davis, Josh Wadham (Tom Bath 58), Max Smallcombe, Cameron Allen, Levi Landricombe, Jordan Rogers (Ben Mammola 59)
Goal: Levi Landricombe 52