Welsh Cup, Round Two:
Haverfordwest County 2
Aberbargoed Buds 0

THIS really was a convincing win by the Bluebirds and even though they didn’t score more than their two good first half goals they gave their fans the pleasure of a consistently skilful and inventive display over the full 90 minutes, writes Robert Nisbet

The continued absence of Joe Leahy meant that Sean Cresser had to shuffle his pack a little and the Blues went into the game with Greg Walters up front, Kristian Speake tucked in just behind him and Alaric Jones slotting in at left back. 

This re-shaping paid off handsomely as Jones worked with Sam Rodon, Tim Hicks and Matthew Broome to form a really solid back four which was able to restrict the Buds to a handful of shots all afternoon. 

Up front Walters and Speake worked very well between wingers Steff and Dan Williams, with Speake catching the eye with some fine ball-winning, accurate passing and some clever running off the ball. 

With Sean Pemberton and Ricky Watts strong in midfield and Conah McFenton deservedly keeping a third successive clean sheet, the Blues had a formation which was always too much for a Buds team which was in no way lacking in skill and determination.

The Blues went straight on to the front foot and had a sparkling first 10 minutes with some exhilarating passing movements down both flanks and the middle. 

They capped the display with a fine goal in the 12th minute when a neat four-man move gave Walters room to play a ball right across the goal to Watts whose cross was well headed in by Speake.

They had the ball in the net again in the 23rd minute when Hicks played a ball back in after a Dan Williams corner, but the goal was disallowed for an infringement

The second goal showed that the Blues could produce results from the long-ball approach too, as a long cross from Jones was volleyed in powerfully by Watts.

Walters and Dan Williams went close again in the first half while the Buds could only manage a late slightly fluffed shot from Levi Rees.

The Blues exerted constant pressure in the second half, with Walters threatening with a high curler and Rodon’s header from a Dan Williams corner being blocked on the line. By now the wingers were able to play right up forward and Pemberton, who had earlier played in front of the back four, was able to get forward more. Watts meanwhile was starting to go on several powerful runs.

The three subs all chipped in, with a very dangerous break from Charlie Davies, Leon Luby linking well with Watts out on the right and a last-minute cross from Alfie Stottor shooting across the face of the goal. It remained two-nil but was a satisfying performance nonetheless.

Haverfordwest County are away to Pontypridd in Welsh Cup third round, the tie will take place in either December 2 

Next Saturday the Blues return to league action when they play Ton Pentre on the Conygar Bridge Meadow, kick-off 2pm.

Haverfordwest County: Conah McFenton, Matthew Broome (Leon Luby, 78), Alaric Jones, Sean Pemberton, Sam Rodon, Tim Hicks, Ricky Watts, Greg Walters, Kristian Speake, Dan Williams (Alfie Stottor, 88), Steff Williams (Charlie Davies, 68).
Sub not used: Fraser Finlay.