West End gain a surprise draw at Meadow
3:01pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Sport
West End 1
THE jubilation in the West End camp as the final whistle went rounded off an afternoon which saw a surprise result, some awful playing conditions and a fair degree of resolve and effort on both sides, writes Robert Nisbet.
The league table before the game saw the Bluebirds clearly on top and West End anchored to the bottom. But wind and rain can be great levellers and, as the Bluebirds started the first half, with a strong wind at their backs, they seemed rather disjointed. But then, after ten desultory minutes, came a fine 11th-minute goal. Chris OSullivan put Steffan Williams clear on the right and Steffans fine run and cross forced a corner. The industrious Sully went over to take it on the left and curled across a beautifully-weighted ball which Sean Pemberton cracked in with a thumping header.
But for the rest of the first half the Blues had to contend with a busy West End side who kept pushing towards Chris Curtis goal. The Blues responded with their own attacks certainly, with Williams and Jack Christopher prominent, but they did not play well in this half, tending to over-hit the ball far too often.
The second half started with momentary signs of a Blues revival, but then came a sudden downpour and, in the 60th minute, a fine headed equaliser from West Ends Rob Shannon.
Its fair to say that, for the last half-hour, the Blues had more of the play and that, in very difficult conditions, they played some very skilful passing football. Williams was outstanding on the right and three times carved his way to the bye-line. Each time Christopher came steaming through, with two defenders breathing down his neck, and three times he was agonizingly close.
Nevertheless credit must go to a West End side who were both resolute and enterprising. They were often a shade quicker into the tackle, sometimes a little too sharply, as their three yellow cards showed. Likewise they weathered a loud penalty appeal when Ricky Watts went down on a run into the box. Then, in the very last minute, another Williams run saw him cut the ball back and Declan Carrolls drive was superbly turned round the post by goalkeeper Luke Fleming, who had taken a nasty injury just a few minutes earlier.
So it was a mixed bag of an afternoon which will leave the Bluebirds having to put the dropped points down to experience and West End well pleased with the point which their gutsy, busy display merited.
Next Saturday the Blues are at home to Aberbargoed Buds, kick-off 2.30.
Haverfordwest County: Chris Curtis, Ricky Watts, Antonio Facciuto (Joey Leahy, 72), Sam Rodon, Dale Griffiths, Sean Pemberton (Declan Carroll, 70), Chris OSullivan, Dylan Blain, Steffan Williams, Jack Christopher, Richie Lewis (Matthew Fisher, 82).
Sub not used: Ashley Curtis.
Match ball sponsor D & O Builders, Fishguard.
Programme sponsor: A F Harries Accountant.
FA Welsh Youth Cup second round sees Haverfordwest County entertain Cardiff Corries at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium; kick-off is at 2pm. If they win Steve Battys team have the added incentive of playing the winners of Cardiff City v Newport County tie in the third round at home.
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