Small double strike sinks Bluebirds

Western Telegraph: IN THE PICTURE: Haverfordwest County are pictured before losing at home to Aberdare Town. PICTURE: Kevin Bryce. (4056806) IN THE PICTURE: Haverfordwest County are pictured before losing at home to Aberdare Town. PICTURE: Kevin Bryce. (4056806)

Welsh League, Division One

Haverfordwest County 1

Aberdare Town 3

AFTER a lively if erratic first hour, reflected in a 1-1 scoreline, the Bluebirds seemed to lose their way in the last half-hour and were duly punished by two fine goals from Aberdare’s Sam Small, writes Robert Nisbet.

After the defeat at West End, Wayne Jones had shuffled his pack slightly, bringing youth player Jack Britton back in midfield, dropping Tim Hicks back to deep midfield to mark Aberdare’s Richard French, and playing Joey Leahy as a solitary centre forward but supported by wingers Steffan Williams and Luke Borelli pushed right upfield.

The Blues opened brightly before being rocked by a stunning Aberdare goal in the 8th minute, when, after some scrappy play on the edge of the area, the ball broke to ex-Bluebird Jamie Bradford who hammered a rocket of a shot from 25 yards into the top corner of Chris Curtis’s net.

The Blues hit back 14 minutes later when Borelli swung over a corner from the left and Williams met it with a solid header. Then, after Dale Griffiths had done well to head out one Aberdare shot, the Blues were close to a second when Leahy went down the right and squared to Borelli, who fired wide. The best chance came though just a minute before half-time when Borelli was left with a clear shot on goal from 12 yards out and shot over.

The Blues made a promising start to the second half when a lovely long ball from Antonio Facciuto sent Williams clear and the winger’s angled shot whistled just over. But despite a fair amount of pressure they couldn’t get their noses in front and, as the half wore on, the visitors began to look increasingly dangerous.

Aberdare forced a succession of corners, and swung all of them ominously close to the Blues line. In the 77th minute one of these corners broke to Sam Small, who hammered in.

The Blues now threw on three of their subs but the response was always rather disjointed and was set in perspective by the clinical finish in the 90th minute when Small drove in his second.

The programme sponsor was Mr Graham Brockway of G&G Builders, Haverfordwest.

The ball sponsor was Mr Nick Pawlett of Haverfordwest Tyres & Exhausts.

On Saturday the Blues travel to play Penybont. The next home game is on Saturday, March 1, against Goytre AFC.

Haverfordwest County: Chris Curtis, Dylan Blain (Declan Carroll, 83), Antonio Facciuto, Sam Rodon, Dale Griffiths, Jack Britton, Chris O’Sullivan, Luke Borrelli (Rob Morgans, 75), Tim Hicks, Joey Leahy (Liam Fawcett, 82), Steffan Williams.

Subs not used: Sean Pemberton, Kerry Nicholas (g/k).

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