Division 1: Hakin United 4-1 Carew

It was a clash between two of the best attacking sides in Pembrokeshire football – but one was more clinical and concise than the other.

Hakin United delivered the perfect riposte to defeat in the Senior Cup at Goodwick by beating Carew at The Obs yesterday, making it three Division 1 wins from three. Given two of those scalps include The Rooks and Merlins Bridge, two sides also expected challenge for the title, the points on the board are important ones.

Frantic first half:

As expected, both sides created chances and were it not for the saves of respective keepers Martin Langdon and Tom Davies, the eventual goal tally would have been a lot higher than five.

But in the first half it was Hakin putting the better moves together while the visitors struggled to keep the ball or maintain fluency – despite going close early on when Joe Leahy met Shaun Whitfield’s free kick but was denied by Langdon.

Within 10 minutes though it was Hakin who led as Ashley Bevan drove into the area and his low left foot cross teed up Shane Walsh to score from close range. It was the first time the visitors had conceded this season following three straight clean sheets.

More pressure followed as Bevan’s stinging drive was beaten away by Davies and twice winger Adam ‘Titch’ John went close with efforts that whistled past the woodwork.

Bevan was also off target with a volley from Nicky Woodrow’s knockdown and Walsh headed over from six yards, but while Carew were wasteful going forward they did go agonisingly close to levelling when Alex Bayley’s driven 20 yard shot bounced back off the inside of the post.

And then on the brink of half time they had big shouts for a penalty turned down when Garin Gardner appeared to hold back Leahy, but to no avail.

Bevan’s early blow:

The start of the second half ultimately settled matters as moments after the restart, a scramble in the Carew area ended with Bevan’s deflected shot wrong footing Davies to make it 2-0.

And two soon became three when the same player was given too much space on the edge of the box, and although his shot was well saved by the keeper - Woodrow was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Christopher sparks a Carew comeback:

The Rooks responded immediately though as from Whitfield’s long throw Sam Christopher got a strong enough touch to beat Langdon, and then Carew began to click.

Twice more Christopher went close to a second but was thwarted by good saves from Langdon, and the new Hakin keeper also blocked Scott Ferney’s angled shot as Carew pressed.

But inevitably they left themselves open at the back and Woodrow’s fierce shot was blocked by the legs of Davies, before with time running out the forward found space on the right wing and delivered a pinpoint cross for sub Justin Harding to plant a header into the far corner.

Man of the match – Ashley Bevan:

A focussed Ashley Bevan will always make a huge difference to any side at this level, and while he may not yet be at full fitness his quality was evident yesterday.

Creating two goals and scoring one, he was central to most of what Hakin did going forward and with him, Woodrow, Harding, Walsh and Scott Reid all available, manager Scott Davies will have some attacking selection dilemmas this season.

Decent dilemmas to have though.

Hakin United: Martin Langdon, Leon Luby, Ewan Findlay, Garin Gardner, Camron Thomas, Adam John (Tom Evans 84), Shane Walsh (Jaden Chapman 83), Craig Nicholson, Ryan Wilson, Ashley Bevan (Justin Harding 74), Nicky Woodrow.

Carew: Tom Davies, Shaun Whitfield, Zac Rowell, Sonny Phillips, Curtis Hurlow, Iwan Izzard, Nathan Evans, Scott Ferney, Alex Bayley, Sam Christopher (Jordan Richards 72), Joe Leahy. Sub not used: Tom Grover.

Referee: James Olyott.