Haverfordwest County 5
Pontardawe Town 2
A BRILLIANT second-half hat-trick by skipper Jack Britton led Haverfordwest County’s stunning MacWhirter Youth Cup quarter-final fight back and victory over Pontardawe Town on Monday night, writes Gordon Thomas.
The visitors led 2-0 at half-time thanks to a brace of goals scored by their striker Scott Williams, the first a sublime strike and the second profiting from an error in defence.
But the young Bluebirds came out with a sense and purpose in the second half and scored four unanswered goals in a 17 minute purple patch.
Coaches Steve Batty and Colin Fawcett bravely changed the formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 in the second period and brought on Gwion Howells and Welsh international Greg Walters in place of Martyn Carroll and Liam Davies and this gave them a better balance.
It paid off quickly when Joey Brill struck a vicious 20-yard screamer that flew in the top corner five minutes after the break, 90 seconds later and Welsh Schoolboy international Britton equalised with a neat left footed finish.
The hosts took the lead as another Welsh Schoolboy international Spencer Williams, the right back buried a low drive in the far corner and Britton added a fourth in the 67th minute, the man-of-the-match cut into the box from the left and lashed home from 12 yards.
Five minutes before full time and Britton completed a superb treble with an effortless curling strike from the edge of the box and completed a remarkable fight back.
Coaches Batty and Fawcett were delighted with how the team responded in the second half at the Conygar Bridge Meadow. Batty said: “We changed the formation after the break and it worked a treat and was delighted with the whole squad’s positive reaction.”
Haverfordwest County have drawn Cambrian & Clydach in the semi-final at home with a date to be confirmed. The Bluebirds last played in the final in 2011 when they narrowly lost 2-1 against West End and they won the cup for the one and only time in 2006 against Cambrian & Clydach.
Haverfordwest County: Dan Evans, Spencer Williams, Jack Britton (Captain), Dan Jenkins, Mark Davies, Liam Davies, Joe Brill, Liam Fawcett, Glen Fiteni, Laurie Haworth. Subs: Owen Coombes, Josh Hicks, Gwion Howells, Aidan Rainbow, Greg Walters.