THE win over Willand Rovers saw Merthyr Town earn a trip to Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday, September 16 when the draw for the second qualifying round of the FA Cup was made on Monday.
It won’t be an easy task for the Martyrs as the Hampshire outfit are a level above them – in the Vanarama National League South although the teams have met in the past.
Havant, who play at Westleigh Park, had a convincing 4-1 league win at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday, although the latter are struggling in bottom but one spot.
Havant were 2-0 up after 14 minutes. Merthyr will have to be on top form against Havant who are fourth in the table with five wins, two draws and one defeat, scoring 14 goals and letting in five.
Gavin Williams’ Merthyr side could really do with a money-spinning cup run to help boost their cash situation. But they would probably have hoped for a home tie. Nevertheless, the squad will be eager to show their mettle against a club higher in the pyramid.
Jarrad Wright, Merthyr central defender, said :“Everybody at our club wants a good cup run.
“We are keen to test ourselves and see how far we can go in the competition. The players talk about that in our dressing room.
“We are still unbeaten and that’s a good thing, but we are disappointed we don’t have more wins. We could have won all five of the league matches we’ve played so far.”
Havant and Waterlooville had a historic FA Cup run in 2007-08 beating York City, Notts County and Swansea City before losing at Anfield to Liverpool in the fourth round.
On Saturday Merthyr are home in the Evo-Stik South Premier to Bishops Stortford (3pm), the Hertordshire side having exited the FA Cup at the weekend, losing 1-0 at Potters Bar.
George Casey made some good runs down the right for the visitors and Darren Foxley, ex-Cambridge City, went close on times but they were disappointed to go out at this hurdle for the fourth successive year and to a team who play at a lower level.
Stortford are third from bottom with one point from five games, having scored six goals and conceded 10. Merthyr will look to exending their unbeaten run.
David Pittham, one of three recently appointed new board members, has had to resign due to work commitments. He has been thanked for his contribution.
MERTHYR TOWN ......... 6 WILLAND ROVERS ....... 1
FOR the second time this season, the Martyrs hit a side for six.
On Saturday, before a gate smaller than usual with some fans making their way to Cardiff for Wales v Austria, Merthyr turned on some fine passing football even though they began the game with five changes from the team which drew at Hereford on the Bank Holiday Monday.
On-loan Mo Touray (Newport) and Kerry Morgan both grabbed a brace, supplemented by goals from Kyle Patten and Jaye Bowen.
With some exceptions, the Exeter-based side was fairly young. They played some good fooball at the start but were worn down and in the second half their opponents were queuing up to score.
The Devon men began with confidence and Glenn Gould headed wide from a cross from the right. Captain Brett Worbey was lively and his side passed well to set up good moves.
Then Mo Touray, on loan to Merthyr from Newport County, showed skill to set up Jaye Bowen. He curled in a superb goal to beat keeper Mike Searle who pulled off some good saves later. He did really well to deny a fierce effort from Cameron Pring, on loan from Bristol City.
On 39 minutes Kyle Patten got on the end of a cross from the left to head goal number two.
Searle kept the score down, stopping shots from Bowen and Kyle Copp before the break.
The second period again was largely Merthyr with Stuart Fleetwood and Touray combining well to pressurise the away defence. After 53 minutes it was 3-0 as Touray skilfully negotiated his way to goal, netting from a Bowen centre. Bowen, son of former Welsh international Jason, was with Cinderford on loan for much of last season. This campaign, he is showing a new zest for the game and has impressed so far. He was previously with Cardiff City.
Willand pulled a goal back in the 68th minute, substitute Luke Mortimore going through and netting as keeper Oliver Davies came out.
Touray made it 4-1 on 78 minutes as Merthyr began to run riot and sending in shots from all angles. Kerry Morgan came on as one of the substitutes used by boss Gavin Williams. Morgan soon got on the scoreline, picking up on a ball from Touray, already a favourite with the fans, on 86 minutes.
Three minutes later another replacement, Corey Jenkins, sent over a precision cross and Morgan met it superbly to head in from just more than 10 yards. Morgan almost made it a hat-trick but his late effort was cleared off the line.
Mo Touray adds another to make it 4-1 for Merthyr
Jaye Bowen opens the scoring