BASHLEY’S tough start to the new campaign continued as a series of deadly first-half deliveries helped Merthyr Town to a comprehensive 4-1 victory in the New Forest.

Martyrs striker Kayne McLaggon fired an early warning shot by hitting the crossbar and soon went one better when he nodded home a free-kick whipped in from the left wing after just 11 minutes.

Another delicious centre proved problematic midway through the half as Bash defender Matt Oldring sliced an attempted clearance beyond his own keeper Callum Maher.

With just over half an hour on the clock, the points were destined for South Wales as Ian Traylor ghosted in to score Merthyr’s third with a close-range header.

Any hopes of a Bash recovery were soon quashed nine minutes after the restart as Traylor once again stole a march on his marker to side-foot home from close quarters and rubber-stamp his side’s success.

But the hosts kept probing and did grab their first goal of the season when substitute Ryan Brading’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area caught a slight deflection, deceiving visiting stopper Tom Bradley before landing in the net.

The result sees Bash slide to second bottom of the embryonic Southern South & West standings with Gloucestershire outfit Bishops Cleeve the only other side yet to take a point.

Bash: Maher, Morris, Hall, Oldring, King, Bosma (Fergusson, 55), L Speechley-Price, Farren (Booker, 72), Morse (Brading, 75), Roushbaiani, Aurow. Unused sub: Cullingford.