Bluebirds pay the penalty against Goytre United
10:02am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Sport
Haverfordwest County 2 Goytre United 2
(after extra time: Goytre won 5-4 on penalties)
This result could not have been any closer and the Bluebirds were finally edged out after having led in both normal time and extra time, before a fifth Goytre penalty sealed their exit from the Nathaniel Car Sales Welsh League Cup, writes Robert Nisbet.
For the first 25 minutes the Bluebirds had more of the play despite the fact that they lacked some of their usual cohesion, in part maybe because of a number of enforced changes over the past fortnight. But they managed a few crisp attacks early on. Declan Carroll, re-signed from Aberystwyth and looking promising, fired in two low shots which keeper Martin had to grab at the foot of his post. A Richie Lewis free kick flew harmlessly over the bar, but eight minutes later, after a fine run, Lewis hooked in a first-time cross which just evaded Joey Leahy.
United now started to rally and Sam Roden did well to block out one Goytre shot for a corner, before keeper Chris Curtis did equally well to pluck a later corner from under his crossbar.
The first half ended goalless but the Blues hit the games first jackpot within a minute of the re-start. Sub Steffan Williams was hauled down between box and corner flag and Lewis curled a precise free kick on to the head of Sam Roden who netted powerfully. The home side continued to graft with this goal behind them but Goytre stayed within range of
an equaliser, which came, in the 85th minute, from Goytres player-manager, ex-Bluebird Andy Hill.
The two periods of extra time fluctuated but were marked by a 100th minute Bluebirds goal, again following a Lewis cross, this time a corner, which broke to Greg Walters. His hammered shot took several deflections but appeared to go in finally off Williams.
A few late runs by Lewis and Williams did not quite bring the clinching goal, but the final period was marred by a second yellow card for Sean Pemberton. Five minutes later, a fine strike by Sam Wade drew the sides level again, and it was penalties.
There was nine well-struck penalties out of 12, but on the day the mathematics just went Goytres way and the Blues now have the odd record of a table-topping three League wins followed by two cup defeats. This Saturday they return to league action, travelling to play Caerau Ely.
Haverfordwest County: Chris Curtis, Ricky Watts (Martyn Carroll, 55); Antonio Facciuto, Sam Roden; Dale Griffiths, Sean Pemberton, Ashley Curtis (Steffan Williams, 55), Jack Britton, Declan Carroll (Greg Waters, 67), Joey Leahy, Richie Lewis.
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