Bluebirds gain a point at league leaders

First published in Sport

Taff’s Well 0
Haverfordwest County 0

A draw against the Welsh League Division One league leaders away from home was a good result in itself and the Bluebirds could well claim that if they’d had a little more of the rub of the green they might well have won by two or three goals, writes Robert Nisbet.
Manager Wayne Jones was at least well pleased to have kept a clean sheet and on the night his defence did him proud. Craig Morris was making his return as keeper and Dylan Blain slotted in at left back for the unavailable Facciuto, and both had very good games in a rearguard in which Sam Rodon was outstanding. With Chris O’Sullivan and Sean Pemberton both grafting really hard in midfield and with Steffan Williams always dangerous at the front the Blues took the game to the Wellmen from the start.
Taff’s Well had plenty of possession in the first half but seemed able to do little more than pass square and across the back for too much of the time. The Blues were attacking much more crisply, down the middle and down the flanks. They went close, in the 3rd minute and again in the 40th, when Pemberton crashed in headers from corners and saw the ball cannon back off a bemused defence. A shot from Williams after 32 minutes likewise smashed into the defence and Tim Hicks went clear in one-on-one with the keeper only to shoot narrowly wide. The Blues would like to have created more chances but several times, playing down quite a marked slope, they over-hit the approach ball. At the other end the only occasion on which the Wellmen threatened came early on when an inswinging corner was going towards the top corner of the Blues’ goal and Morris did well to palm it away.
The Blues had lost Luke Borelli with a recurrence of his ankle injury during the first half but they kept up the pressure from the start of the second, although there were few chances at either end between 45 and 70 minutes.
Then, from about the 70-miute mark, it seemed as if the Wellmen, having soaked up a fair amount of pressure, began to feel they could still win the game and started to press on down the slope, from which direction they’ve scored several late goals in past games with the Blues. But the defensive tackling and covering was spot-on and it was in fact the Bluebirds who came desperately close to a goal in the 88th minute, when first a corner and then a throw-in were floated in to the Taff’s Well box, to set up a furious exchange with shots peppered in from all directions and the ball finally scrambled clear
Taff’s Well and Cambrian & Clydach and the Blues, in that order, now stay in a tight knot at the top of the table. On Saturday the Blues entertain Goytre, kick-off 2.30pm.
Haverfordwest County: Craig Morris, Ricky Watts, Dylan Blain, Sam Rodon, Dale Griffiths, Chris O’Sullivan, Luke Borrelli (Joe Leahy, 38), Sean Pemberton (Jack Britton, 60), Steffan Williams, Tim Hicks (Declan Carroll, 75), Richie Lewis.

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