Hammond free-kick cracker sinks Town
TWO FIRST-HALF goals were enough to see Lewes progress.
The Welshmen began brightly, with both Tom Meechan and Owain Jones aiming early efforts at the Lewes goal.
However, it was the Rooks who took the lead when Connor Young conceded a foul 25 yards out. Ideal range for James Hammond to open the scoring in with a direct free-kick.
Three minutes later, Ian Traylor had a free kick from a similar situation for Merthyr but could only find the arms of Lewes goalkeeper Lewis Carey.
Jonte Smith shot wide as Town began to gain a foothold, with Jarrad Wright testing Carey with a sharp header.
Six minutes from the break, Luke Blewden doubled the lead when his powerful shot had goalkeeper Joe Perry tipping the ball into his own goal.
Merthyr had a lot of possession but couldn’t create any danger for Carey, with Jones’s sidefooted effort gathered easily by the goalkeeper.
Matt Harris had two longrange efforts in a prolonged injury time, with Carey at full stretch to tip the second one over the bar, but Merthyr were unable to prevent the Rooks’ safe passage into the third qualifying round. BIGGLESWADE Town came away from a rain-sodden Silver Jubilee Park with the spoils after scoring twice in the last ten minutes to beat ten-man Hendon.
Former Greens favourite Matt Ball was at the centre of almost every attempt on goal by the Waders. He had efforts that went just wide and just over the bar in the first 20 minutes, as well as an effort that was easy meat for Danny Boness.
Hendon came close when Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick crashed a shot off the underside of the bar.
It took Hendon two minutes of the second half to break the deadlock. Hippolyte-Patrick was put through, steadied himself, and smashed the ball past Sam Donkin.
Ball came close to an equaliser with an audacious 45-yard rising shot that Boness caught leaping high as he back-pedalled. The game changed on 79 minutes when Adam Pepara was red carded for a challenge on Ball that was caused by the slippery conditions and was without malice.
Ball’s free-kick was headed half clear and when the ball was played back into the box, David Longe-King headed home.
And in stoppage time, Joe White found himself some space and his shot ended up in the back of the net.