Haverfordwest County 4
Afan Lido 0
What a cracking performance by Haverfordwest County Youth!
The Young Bluebirds showed just how good they can be as they played some scintillating football at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium to crush a decent Afan Lido side with whom they had drawn 0-0 with in the previous match but Lido had no answer to the slick passing of Steve Batty’s and Colin Fawcett’s boys.
Indeed, the only minor criticism might be that they created so many chances that they might have at least doubled their tally as Laurie Haworth and Liam Fawcett found spaces aplenty up front as Joe Brill, Gwion Howell, Dan Jenkins and especially Mark Davies controlled the midfield from the outset.
To be fair, Afan Lido battled hard but their only real chance came when Travis Monks-Landeg headed over from a corner but the Lido striker was shown the red card by referee Charles Davies just before the interval to put his side under even more pressure as they chased shadows under the Bridge Meadow floodlights.
Haverfordwest County were without key players Jack Britton, Greg Walters and Glen Fiteni but their absence was minimised from the outset as the back four of Brad Cristofaro, Ryan Mansell, Owen Coombs and Spencer Williams were so solid that keeper Josh Hicks had only two saves to make – and both centre backs posed a threat when they went up for corners, with Coombs heading a Haworth corner inches over the bar and Mansell scoring the team’s second goal as the ball broke to him at a set-piece where his right-foot shot curved just inside the far post.
The Young Bluebirds had served notice of intent from the outset and opened their account following a sweeping pass from Jenkins which sent Haworth down the left flank before Fawcett’s soft shot hit the post and fortuitously bounced off keeper Sion Morgan’s back and into the net for a goal which fawcett had the cheek to claim!.
Morgan also saved from Gwion Howell, Haworth and Fawcett but Mansell’s goal gave the homesters a 2-0 lead at half time.
Subs also involved
The second half saw Haverfordwest push forward more and more as Afan Lido’s ten men found it hard going but had gritty displays by Morgan, Adam Griffiths and Jordan Hale. A Fawcett drive rattled the bar, Haworth put in several drives, one superbly saved low down by the overworked Morgan but a goal was bound to come and involved subs Dan Harding and Sean O’Neil, the former sending over a great corner and the latter doing well to head home.
Haworth rounded off the scoring with a wicked left-foot drive which seared its way into the far corner of the net and was no more than he deserved for his direct approach all evening. In a terrific all-round performance it was hard to pick out individuals but unsung heroes Joe Brill, Mark Davies and Dan Jenkins caught the eye in midfield, and the delight on Mansell’s face after a rare goal was also worth remembering!
Haverfordwest County: Josh Hicks: Brad Cristofaro; Ryan Mansell; Owen Coombs; Spencer Williams: Mark Davies; Joe Brill; Gwion Howell; Dan Jenkins: Laurie Haworth; Liam Fawcett. Subs: Sean O’Neil; Dan Harding; James Trueman; Dan Evans.
Afan Lido: Sion Morgan: Chris Rees; Adam Griffiths; Jordan Hale; Luke Llewellyn: Jack Lewis; Josh Evans; Callum Margetson; Jordan Lloyd: Jack Underwood; Travis Monks-Landeg. Subs: Rory Hinchliffe; Casey Jones.
Referee: Charles Davies. Assistants: Ben Williams; Helmut Reinhardt