Welsh League Division One:
Briton Ferry Llansawel 0
Haverfordwest County 3

HAVERFORDWEST County produced a superb team effort in quite terrible conditions to beat a gritty Briton Ferry/Llansawel side and go joint top with Llanelli Town, who could only draw 2-2 at home to Port Talbot.

A splendid first-half strike by Steff Williams saw The Bluebirds a goal ahead at the interval as heavy rain and powerful winds saw creative play at a premium and another quality finish by Dan Williams and a tap-in by sub Declan Carroll from his first touch ensured they took all three points as reward for their commitment.

The managerial team of Sean Cresser and Micky Ellis had certainly done their homework against a team which had lost just once in their last five matches because the tight back five worked really well after early pressure by BFL saw Conah McFenton make two good saves from Stephen Davey and Matthew Hughes, who also put a shot into the side netting.

Skipper Sean Pemberton, player/coach Tim Hicks and Sam Rodon formed a powerful unit as central defenders, with Rodon in particular getting in some terrific blocks.

Full backs Matthew Broome and Kristian Speak covered really well and Greg Walters, Nicky Palmer and Dan Williams never stopped running all night under the Old Road floodlights.

Joe Leahy threatened first with his strong running but it was Steff Williams who opened the scoring with a goal that would have graced any game as he picked up the ball from his namesake Dan on the left side and curled a delicious right foot curler that gave Steve Cann no chance in his top right corner.

It was a real boost for The Bluebirds and they started the second half on top as Leahy made a powerful surge through the middle only for Cann to save well – and Williams’ low rebound  was blocked by Ian Hillier.

But the visitors’ efforts were rewarded when Matthew Broome put Steff Williams away in the right corner and although the striker seemed squeezed for space he somehow wriggled past left back Daniel Kingdom and got to the by-line near the corner flag and whipped in a cross that young midfielder Dan Williams managed to convert into a bicycle kick which saw the ball sneak in at the far post for a cracking goal.

It stung Briton Ferry into renewing their efforts but anything in the air was cut out by Pemberton and Hicks, whilst Rodon ruled the roost with some telling tackles – and so forced the homesters to try to score from longer range, with Sam Baker and Matthew Hughes putting shots over the bar.

It led to frustration from the home players and supporters, who vented their anger when 16 year old Bluebirds sub Alaric Jones was yellow-carded with a clumsy tackle that looked bad but was laregly due to the state of the pitch after so much rain.

Ironically, whatever Ian Hillier said to referee James Burges about the incident led to a red card for the former Swansea City player and reduced to ten men!

The Bluebirds maintained their momentum, Pemberton threatened at corners and they killed off the home efforts when Speake slipped the ball to Jones, who drilled in a left foot shot cross and Carroll was lurking with intent in the six yard box to calmly put the ball past Cann.

Briton Ferry Llansawel: Steve Cann (Capt), Sam Baker, Ian Hillier, Luke Harries, Daniel Kingdom, Kieran Williams, Rory Healey, Scott Kenyon, Tom Da Silva, Matthew Hughes, Stephen Davey. Subs: Matthew Harris, David Brown, Ryan Kostromin.

Haverfordwest County: Conah McFenton, Matthew Broome, Sam Rodon, Sean Pemberton (Capt), Tim Hicks, Kristian Speake, Nicky Palmer, Greg Walters, Dan Williams, Joe Leahy, Steff Williams. Subs: Alaric Jones, Declan Carroll, Charlie Davies, Leon Luby.

Referee: James Burges.
Assistants: Jordan Christopher 
and Marco Griffiths.