Welsh League, Division One
Haverfordwest County 1
Goytre United 0
THE last-ditch defence protected the lead given them by a fine early goal from Luke Borelli, writes Robert Nisbet.
The visitors looked sharp from the outset, with ex-Bristol Rovers first-teamer Jack McKenna at the head of their line and with a fine performance in the elusive-pimpernel manner from ex-Bluebird Nicky Palmer, who roamed dangerously from attack to midfield. But after 13 minutes came a finely-worked Blues goal when Ricky Watts slipped a ball through to Borelli, who cut in from the right and drove in low from a narrow angle.
Goytre continued to press though, but set up remarkably few clear-cut chances, with the only really menacing flurry coming in the 44th minute when McKenna was well-positioned but shot well wide. The Blues meanwhile had been closer with another Borelli shot, an O’Sullivan free kick and a low shot from Richie Lewis.
The second half gave us a similar pattern with it seeming as if Goytre were well on top and yet hardly ever looking as if they might capitalize. The only time they came close was in the 80th minute when Sam Rodon conceded a yellow card and a free kick with a heavy challenge out on the Goytre left, and Palmer‘s free kick swung in for Craig Morris to have to finger-tip it on to the bar and to safety.
At the other end there had been a few quite dangerous attacks. Tim Hicks swivelled and sent in a shot which was turned for a corner and after his appearance as sub Declan Carroll sent in several rasping drives.
What gave the Bluebirds the clean sheet and the three points was of course some really strong last-ditch defence. Goytre shots were blocked certainly and there was a string of blocks, tackles and interceptions in and around the Blues penalty area. The defence had a fine game, and none more so than skipper Dale Griffiths, twice going off to have his head bandaged but still able to staunch a flow of Goytre attacks.
Right at the end, as the Goytre attacking was getting hectic, Lewis picked up a ball on the edge of his own area and went on a scorching run to the other end to force an corner and take much of the steam from the Goytre comeback.
If the Blues are to win promotion there will inevitably be games like this when they battle through and tough out the points on days when things are not going as planned. When all is said and done they played for and deserved the win.
The programme sponsors were Jill and John Donachie of Lamphey, and the match ball sponsor was Mr Rhodri Roberts.
The Blue stay top of the table with this win, with Cambrian & Clydach falling off a little after two defeats last week, but with Monmouth Town beginning to loom ominously in third place.
Next Saturday they are away to Aberdare Town.
Haverfordwest County: Craig Morris; Ricky Watts; Antonio Facciuto; Sam Rodon; Dale Griffiths; Luke Borelli (Declan Carroll, 60; Chris O’Sullivan; Jack Britton (Dylan Blain, 55); Steffan Williams; Tim Hicks (Joe Leahy, 90); Richie Lewis.