Haverfordwest County 2

Crosesyceiliog 1

After the disappointment of two defeats, in particular the bruising one to Carmarthen, the Bluebirds really needed a win to get back in the groove and managed enough football of sufficient composure to land the win in a rather scrappy game against lively opposition.

As long as they kept to their passing game along the deck, the Bluebirds managed some decent moves in the first half. For most of that time defenders Sam Rodon, Sean Pemberton and Ricky Watts kept a grip on the visitors’ attack and full backs Leon Luby and Kristian Speake were able to push forward and link with attacking players to create chances. Tim Hicks, pressed into service as striker, knocked down a fair amount of the high balls, but it was when Dan and Steff Williams and Charlie Davies linked with Luby and Speake down the flanks that most danger appeared.

But the Gwent side were just not out of this and had a good attacking flurry around the 15-minute mark. Centre back Tom Doidge got to a free kick and sent his header against the base of the post, before Rodon and Speake had to scramble to block out dangerous centre forward Nicky McGrath. At the other end Steff Williams was just blocked on a run, and Luby’s cross was met with a Dan Williams header into the grasp of keeper Lohfink.

Then, in the 33rd minute, the Blues broke the deadlock when Dan Williams won a tricky ball on the touchline and slipped a pass to Greg Walters who smashed a low shot in from 25 yards.

The first half ended with decent efforts from Davies and Speake and the 1-0 lead seemed a fair reflection. But the start of the second half saw a sudden dip in the Blues’ form. In the 51st minute Croesy equalised, with a very odd goal, when the dangerous McGrath seemed to over-hit a pass forward and the ball ended up in the corner of Conah McFenton’s net.

For a while that goal seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of the Blues, and the Reds clearly thought the win was a real possibility. Twice McFenton had to scurry to field sketchy back passes, before dealing well with a swerving, bouncing shot from Rhys Williams. The Blues only slowly found more composure but they did get a good winner in the 78th minute when Walters crossed from deep on the left, and Speake sent a glancing header into the corner.

The Blues deserved to edge the win in an untidy game. Croesyceiliog can at least take credit for running and playing attacking football to the end.

Next Saturday, the Bluebirds entertain Taff’s Well on the Conygar Bridge Meadow, kick-off 2.30pm.

Haverfordwest County: Conah McFenton; Leon Luby; Kristian Speake; Sean Pemberton; Sam Rodon; Ricky Watts; Steffan Williams (Matthew Broome, 78); Greg Walters; Tim Hicks (Alaric Jones, 60); Dan Williams; Charlie Davies (Nicky Palmer, 60).
Subs not used: Alfie Stottor; Fraser Findlay.