Youngster Sammie Hicks grabbed the only goal of the game as Gloucester City defeated old rivals Merthyr Town 1-0.\r\n\r\nHicks’ stunning volley with ten minutes of the match to go was too much for the Welsh side in a game that the Tigers dominated.\r\n\r\nGloucester started well, as they have done so often this pre-season. Billy Jones delivered one of his trademark free kicks into the back post where Marc Richards was there to meet it, but the Tigers’ player-coach couldn’t direct his volley goalwards.\r\n\r\nFormer Swansea City promotion hero Guillem Bauza struck a decent volley towards goal but Rhys Lovett was well positioned to hold on and keep Town from finding the breakthrough.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers were pressing to find a goal before the half time break. A teasing Lewis Hall cross into the corridor of uncertainty saw both Joe Parker and Obi Anoruo have shots cleared off the line by the resilient Merthyr defence.\r\n\r\nMerthyr nearly grabbed the opener with one of the last kicks of the half as Ian Taylor struck an audacious volley from the angle of the penalty area that was just wide.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers lined up unchanged for the second half and it was Obi Anoruo who nearly broke the deadlock as he pounced on a loose ball in behind the defence but his low drive cannoned off the post and away.\r\n\r\nThe introduction of Mike Symons and Harry White changed the pace of the Tigers’ attacks. Symons held the ball up well and delivered a low ball into White, but Merthyr ‘keeper Tom Bradley showed excellent bravery to gather the ball down low at White’s feet.\r\n\r\nWith a lot of City’s attacking focused through Mike Symons, the ex-Worcester man nearly grabbed his first goal of pre-season after turning well on the edge of the area before shooting towards the far post, but again the ball was wide.\r\n\r\nAfter having all of the play in the second half, the Tigers finally got the goal they deserved through Sammie Hicks, who has just recently signed a contract with City.\r\n\r\nA corner from the right was poorly dealt with by Merthyr and the ball fell kindly to Hicks outside the area and with one touch to set himself, the youngster unleashed an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner of the net to score his first goal for the Tigers.\r\n\r\nWith time running out, both sides could have had goals if it weren’t for some superb goalkeeping from Rhys Lovett and Tom Bradley, who both produced virtual carbon copy saves down low to the left hand side.\r\n\r\nGloucester City: Lovett, Oates, Jones, Richards, Hamilton, Green, Hicks, Thompson, Parker, Anoruo, Hall\r\n\r\nSubs: Staley, Symons, White, Williams, Avery, Shama\r\n\r\nMerthyr Town: Bradley, Davies, Hugh, Harris, Wright, Baggridge, Morgan, Evans, McLaggon, Bauza, Taylor\r\n\r\nSubs: Summerfield, Clarke, Bloom, Evans, Bowen, C. Jenkins, Prosser, A. Jenkins\r\n\r\nAttendance: 107\r\n\r\nReferee: Adam Matthews\r\n\r\nStar man: Sammie Hicks (Gloucester)

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