Welsh League Division One:
Haverfordwest County 2
Ton Pentre 1

ALTHOUGH they won to once again to stay top of the table, and played some exciting attacking football in the process, the Bluebirds will be left concerned at their failure to convert a string of well-created chances into goals, writes Robert Nisbet.

The Blues played the same starting line-up as in last week’s game against the Buds and it is beginning to look a very effective formation. 

The centre half pairing of Sam Rodon and Tim Hicks, with Sean Pemberton just in front of them, is enough to stifle most attacks, and with two very solid full backs in Mathew Broome and Alaric Jones, the Blues’ present defence is a fine one. Ton rattled away in their counter-attacks but threatened rather more than they really achieved.

With Ricky Watts having a very good game alongside Pemberton, the Blues were able to launch into a spate of attacks through a fluid front four in which the mercurial Steff and Dan Williams flanked Greg Walters, emphasising his striker credentials, and Kristian Speake, who is surely making his best contribution up front.

For all that, after a lack-lustre first 10 minutes it was the Bulldogs who took a shock lead, when their industrious attacker Leon Jacka, seemingly going nowhere 30 yards from goal, launched into a sudden stinger of a shot which looked as if it may have deceived Conah McFenton in flight but was nevertheless a really fine strike.

After Ton’s very good keeper Stephen Hall had tipped a Watts curler away for a corner, and a clever one-two involving Speake and Steff Williams had nearly put Dan Williams in, the Blues equalised in the 22nd minute when Steff Williams took a free kick out on the right and slipped a short ball to Walters for him to blast home. 

A second goal followed in the 32nd minute when Steff Williams won a difficult ball out on the right touchline and curled over a real defence-stretcher of a cross for Dan Williams to net well.

The second half had a bizarre opening 15 minutes when a few moments of sloppy defending seemed to give the Bulldogs a window of hope, although it was one they failed to exploit. But the Blues for a brief while were the side counter-attacking. 

They did though launch a few spectacular runs, with first Walters and then Steff Williams going on tremendous bursts from their own half, only to be scrambled out.

They will really have wanted that third goal (not to mention the fourth and fifth they maybe should have scored) but although they threatened almost non-stop for the last half-hour, with the Williams boys dominating the flanks, and Walters, Speake and Watts scything through the middle, nothing went in. 

Keeper Hall pulled off brilliant blocks from 10-yard shots from Dan Williams, twice, and from Steffan, and several balls slewed across the area just out of reach of the final touch. Ton still had their moments, but usually fluffed their approaches with a poor final ball. 

Nevertheless the risk of a sucker equaliser was in most Bluebird minds and the side was disappointingly forced to spend the last three minutes playing down the clock. They did though manage that very skilfully and did of course come away with three more points.

This Saturday The Bluebirds are home to Caerau (Ely), kick-off 2.30pm.

Haverfordwest County: Conah McFenton, Matthew Broome, Alaric Jones, Sean Pemberton, Sam Rodon, Tim Hicks, Ricky Watts, Greg Walters, Kristian Speake, Dan Williams, Steff Williams (Leon Luby, 84). Subs not used: Charlie Davies, Alfie Stottor, Fraser Finlay.