Welsh League Division One:

Haverfordwest County 2–3 Briton Ferry Llansawel

The title hopes of Haverfordwest County were dealt a blow at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium last night as they were beaten 3-2 by Briton Ferry Llansawel, despite the visitors playing much of the second half with 10 men.

The Bluebirds trailed to an Ian Hillier header early on, but home skipper Sean Pemberton also headed in to level matters at half time.

Tyler Brock put The Ferry 2-1 up ater the break, but was then sent off before Dan Williams again squared things up - only for away substitute Matty Hughes to head in a priceless winner 18 minutes from time.

After news filtered through that second placed Llanelli Town’s game at Port Talbot had been postponed, The Bluebirds kicked off knowing a win would take them four points clear at the top – although they didn’t start like a side keen to take advantage.

The first chance came to the visitors when Steve Davey’s low cross found its way to Brock at the back post, but his side footed finish was brilliantly diverted out for a corner by home keeper Connor McFenton.

However, it mattered little as from the resultant Davey corner, away centre back Hillier rose unchallenged and powered home a header to give his side a sixth minute lead.

Sean Cresser’s men soon settled though, and Declan Carroll’s deflected shot looped agonisingly over the bar, before the same player fired wide from Steffan Williams’ cushioned header down.

And on 21 minutes, The Bluebirds levelled when Matthew Broome’s floated free kick from half way found the head of Pemberton, who timed his run perfectly before nodding over Briton Ferry keeper Luke Probert and into the net.

From then on, the league leaders were in the ascendancy in the first half and Alaric Jones’ through ball set Steffan Williams away, but he stuttered as he drove into the area, before laying off a pass to namesake Dan who shot over.

Next it was Dan himself who sped down the right and pulled a pass back to Greg Walters, but his goal bound shot was blocked bravely by the face of Hillier, the defender knocked to the floor in the process.

Williams created another chance before the break when his in-swinging corner was met by Tim Hicks, but the player coach could only head over from point blank range.

The second half started in similar fashion as Carroll's lovely dinked pass found Dan Williams in the area, whose good first touch then went to waste as he blasted over from 10 yards.

And then nine minutes into the second half, the visitors struck against the run of play as Steve Hughes' well judged through ball released Brock, and he cut inside Broome before firing a low right foot shot past the onrushing McFenton.

Cresser responded by throwing on forward Joe Leahy in place of right back Jones, moments after the youngster had been booked for a heavy challenge on Sam Baker. And then midway through the half the home side were thrown a real lifeline when Brock, already on a yellow card, was booked again and subsequently sent off for trying to block a quickly taken free kick.

Just seconds afterwards, Broome floated another set piece in from half way that evaded everyone with the exception of keeper Probert, who tipped over from under his own crossbar.

But with 20 minutes left, the Bluebirds levelled again when Ricky Watts' pin-point ball over the top found Dan Williams, who controlled his first time finish well as he flicked past Probert.

At that point the home side seemed set to push for three points, but then just two minutes later the visitors were back in front when substitute Matty Hughes got on the end of a long ball in and planted a header past McFenton and into the corner.

And to the credit of the 10 men of Briton Ferry Llansawel, they were resolute in the final stages, despite The Bluebirds coming close to a third equaliser coming when Kristian Speake weaved into the area only to see his shot tipped round the post by Probert.

Leahy also headed wide, and it was The Ferry who moved up to 11th in the table with their fifth league win of the season.

Haverfordwest meanwhile, remain top by a point ahead of an away game at Cambrian and Clydach next week, but having now played a game more than Llanelli.

Haverfordwest County: Connor McFenton, Matthew Broome, Alaric Jones (Joe Leahy 61), Sean Pemberton (capt), Tim Hicks, Ricky Watts, Declan Carroll, Greg Walters (Nick Palmer 79), Kristian Speake, Dan Williams, Steffan Williams (Leon Luby 75).

Subs not used: Nick Jones.

Briton Ferry Llansawel: Luke Probert, Sam Baker, Daniel Kingdom, Rory Healey (capt), Luke Harris, Ian Hillier, Steve Davey, Scott Tomlinson, Steve Hughes, Gareth Jones, Tyler Brock.

Subs: Tom Da Silva, Matty Hughes, Liam Hughes, Ray Pennock.

Referee: Ryan Kenny.

Assistants: Gareth Elliott and David Badger.