Match Report: Dolphins see off battling Martyrs in wet Wales

Merthyr Town 0

Poole Town 3

A professional Poole performance was enough to see off a resolute yet weakened Merthyr, meaning Dolphins enjoyed their international trip coming back over the Severn with three goals and three points.

The scoreline reflected Dolphins’ attacking intent, but Merthyr will feel sorry for themselves after they were plagued by injuries, which even started before the game.

New signing Corey Shephard tweaked his hamstring in the build-up, meaning he had to replaced prior to kick off.

Poole made just the one change to the winning side at the weekend, with Corby Moore reintroduced to the midfield in place of Luke Burbidge.

The stalwart had come off the bench against Hendon after losing his first team spot due to suspension.

Jez Bedford (COVID) and Sam Jackson missed out due to illness, leaving Tom Killick with just three players available on the bench.

The first half produced little to talk about with both sides coping with each other- and the wet, slippery conditions – quite well.

It took until the final stages of the opening period for the game to open up, with Poole producing the half’s best chances.

Tony Lee did well to beat goalkeeper Jaimie Cogman to a ball over the top, with the shotstopper forcing Lee out wide.

Despite the tight angle, Lee managed to curl a shot goal bound – only for it to be stabbed off the line by Ismail Yakubu.

Will Spetch sent a looping header over the far post from the resulting corner, but Merthyr were keen to also show that they could be dangerous.

A driving run by Cameroon Keetch saw the fullback tee up Dylan Jones, who sent a shot narrowly over the bar.

Yakubu’s last ditch intervention proved costly, with the centre back forced off before the break, leaving the hosts with just one sub for the second half.

Dolphins continued their attacking intent into the second half, breaking the deadlock just two minutes into the new period.

A fantastic passing move saw the ball quickly sent upfield. Genesini found Dickson who released Holmes.

A mazy run from Holmes allowed him to feed Carmichael, who had the simple task of cutting the ball back for Lee to poke past Cogman and give Dolphins the lead.

Despite grabbing a goal advantage, Poole still poured forward in search for a second. Luke Holmes likely couldn’t believe his eyes as Cogman managed to claw his shot on to the post.

Poole’s constant pressure of the Merthyr goal eventually bore fruit again. A flurry of Dolphins attacks were half cleared, with the ball eventually falling to Dan Bartlett on the edge of the area.

To the credit of the Martyrs flinging their bodies in defence of their goal, they managed to block the shot – only to send it looping over Cogman and into the back of the net.

Dolphins weren’t finished there and despite bringing off top goalscorer Lee, they found another route to a goal.

Will Fletcher’s flick on found Josh Carmichael unmarked at the back post, who duly headed home to seal Poole’s three points.

Dolphins weren’t finished there, with Luke Holmes again hitting the woodwork when his volley cannoned off the crossbar.

Poole: Childs, Rose, Genesini (Wickham 69′), Whisken, Spetch (Wright 69′), Bartlett, Carmichael, Holmes, Lee (Fletcher 76′), Moore, Dickson

Unused subs: Gillespie, Hubbard

Merthyr: Cogman, A.Davies, Keetch, Yakubu (Raison 42′), Barnard, Harris, Thomas (Phipps 61′), Clarke, Hillman (Morgan 34′), Reffell, Jones

Unused subs: Cann (G/K), C.Davies

Goalscorers: Lee 47′, Bartlett 75′, Carmichael 80′

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