Ten-man Slough defeated on final day
Reffell (65), Baggridge (69)
Date: Saturday, April 23rd 2016 | Competition: League | Attendance: 514
Man Of Match: Mark Scott
Starting Line Up
- Mark Scott
- Sean Fraser
- Jhai Dhillon
- Adam New
- Daniel Hicks
- Ryan Hope
- Lewis Putman
- Nathan Webb
- Lee Barney
- Gurkan Gokmen
- Warren Harris
Slough Town conceded two goals shortly after the loss of goalkeeper Mark Scott to injury and Dan Hicks to a red card, and left South Wales empty-handed on the final day of the league season.
The Rebels travelled to Merthyr's scenic Penydarren Park hoping to end the season on a high against the Red Insure Cup winners, but after suffering a double blow in the second half, the hosts took control and eased to all three points.
The match, played on a 3G surface – similar to that which Slough will hope to be playing on at the Community Sports Facility at Arbour Park next season – looked like it might have been heading for a goalless draw.
Inside the first ten minutes, Kayne McLaggon charged into the box and went down under a challenge from Hicks, but the referee waved his penalty appeals away.
Mark Scott did well to make a block after an initial Merthyr attempt was missed, and later watched as Kayon Reffell's header from a corner went wide.
The Slough goalkeeper went one better shortly after as he kept out a penalty kick. On 19 minutes McLaggon again worked his way into the box and Adam New looked to have made a good challenge, only for referee Adam Matthews to quickly point to the spot and award a penalty. Ian Traylor stepped up confidently, but Scott went the right way and made a great save from the spot-kick.
Chances were few and far between for Slough, with Lewis Putman firing a shot across goal and wide from a very tight angle.
Just before the interval, Scott saved Slough again, pulling off a fine diving save to deny Reffell from the edge of the area before tipping over a deflected shot from Ashley Evans.
The goalkeeper's game would not last much longer however. Five minutes into the second half, the game was stopped as he received treatment for an injury, and whilst he tried to continue for a few minutes longer, he was unable to carry on. With no recognised goalkeeper on the bench, Gurkan Gokmen took the number one jersey and gloves from Scott, whilst Jake Parsons entered the fray in place of Scott.
Just three minutes later, another problem presented itself to Slough as Hicks was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Reffell, amidst strong Merthyr protests.
With a numerical advantage and a midfield player between the sticks for Slough, the home side quickly took control and punished the Rebels.
On 65 minutes, Reffell opened the scoring, beating Gokmen from inside the area.
Four minutes later, Merthyr doubled their lead as Rhys Baggridge headed a free kick past Gokmen, leaving him with no chance.
Slough struggled to present a threat to the Merthyr goal thereafter, and Gokmen helped keep the score down with a superb low block to deny a close-range effort after a deflection from the original shot from McLaggon.
McLaggon could have extended the lead further with five minutes to go, but he dragged his shot across goal and wide and later scuffed another one well wide from the edge of the area.
Merthyr Town: Glyn Garner, Adam Davies, James Bloom, Ashley Evans (c), Jarrad Wright, Rhys Baggridge, Corey Jenkins, Jon Brown, Keyon Reffell, Kayne McLaggon, Ian Traylor. Subs: Scott Tancock, Cameron Clarke, Jaye Bowen, Chris Hugh, Jordan Chappelle.