Merthyr Town 1 Banbury United 0
United's nine game unbeaten league run comes to an end but it really ought to have been extended as they miss a penalty two minutes from time.
This was a game which United started brightly. In the 7th minute a cross from the right by Callum White caused problems for the home side in the six yard box with Martin Asiedu Ofosu having two shots at goal but off balance neither connected properly and the ball was blocked both times.
As the quarter of an hour approached it would though be Merthyr who started to have the better of the game. On 23 minutes Keyon Reffell’s shot from the edge of the penalty area went just wide.
In the 34th minute a cross from the right went through to Ryan Prosser in the centre and it looked certain that the home side would take the lead but the Merthyr man’s shot from close range saw Jack Harding in the Banbury goal pull off a miraculous save to knock the goal-bound shot away for what must be the save of the season.
Merthyr continued have the better of proceedings. United didn’t really threaten in the remainder of the half though a free-kick 20 yards out in a central position two minutes before the interval saw Sam Humphreys disappointingly fire well over.
Three minutes into the second half and Harding again came to Banbury’s rescue when he dived full length to tip away down by his post an Ian Traylor 20 yard shot.
In the 56th minute Humphreys passed through to Asiedu Ofosu down the left but his shot from a narrow angle hit the side netting.
Merthyr went close in the 65th minute when a cross was whipped in from the right by Traylor but McLaggon’s glancing header at the near post went just wide of the opposite post.
Merthyr always looked the more likely to make the breakthrough and they duly did so when in the 74th minute McLaggon battled well on the edge of the penalty area down the right and struck a fine shot across the goal into the far corner of the net.
Banbury should though have been coming back from South Wales with a point as in the 88th minute a cross in from the left by Marvin Martin saw Luke Carnell brought down on the penalty spot. James Smith stepped up to take the kick but Oliver Davies in the Merthyr goal did well to dive low to his left to knock the ball away for a corner much to the delight of the home supporters.
Having had such a golden opportunity so late on to get something out of the game, Banbury will be bitterly disappointed but it would have been rather harsh on Merthyr not to have won this game as over the 90 minutes they were on this day the better side.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Jack Westbrook, Andy Gunn, George Nash, Luke Carnell, Jack Self, Callum White, Sam Humphreys (James Smith 68), Conor McDonagh (Zac McEachran 60), Martin Asiedu Ofosu (Darius Browne 90), Marvin Martin. Subs (not used): Tom Bradbury, Eddie Odhiambo.
Merthyr Town: Oliver Davies, Adam Davies, Scott Barrow, Ashley Evans, Curtis McDonald, Scott Tancock, Ryan Prosser (Kyle Copp 79), Eliot Richards (Corey Jenkins 62), Kayne McLaggon (Ben Watkins 79), Keyon Reffell, Ian Traylor. Subs (not used): Gavin Williams, Kyle Patten.