HAVERFORDWEST County AFC boss Tony Pennock was left frustrated as the Bluebirds suffered a heavy 5-1 loss to league leaders TNS.

TNS took the lead in the first half and went 2-0 just after half time. A goal from Lee Jenkins put Haverfordwest back in the game, but a nine-minute hattrick from substitute Ryan Brobbel killed the game off.

The result leaves Haverfordwest in 10th place in the JD Cymru Premier, with one win from their opening seven games.  

TNS opened the scoring halfway through the first half as Leo Smith cut in from the left wing, riding a tackle before curling the ball in to the far corner from the edge of the box.

At 1-0 down, Pennock’s side were well in the game as they came out for the second half. But it was a nightmare start to the second half, as Blaine Hudson rose highest from a corner to double The New Saints’ lead.

With 20 minutes left to play, however, the Bluebirds got back in to the game.

A free kick 30 yards out to the left of centre was floated in to the box by Dan Hawkins, and Jenkins drifted in unmarked at the far post to meet it with a diving header.

But the visitors’ joy was short lived, as just five minutes later the substitute Brobbel struck a low free kick from the edge of the D past the despairing dive of Zac Jones.

As Haverfordwest pushed for a route back in to the game, TNS pounced on a loose ball half way inside their own half and countered, with Brobbel carrying the ball down the wing and lifting the ball over Jones.

The scoring was completed in the 83rd minute after a deep corner was headed back across goal, and Jones was unable to keep out a header from point blank range from Brobbel, who was unmarked.

“We improved as the first half went on to be fair, but after talking about things in the dressing room, we came out and did the total opposite,” Pennock said to the club’s website after the game.

“That’s frustrating. We gave them the second goal. If you give TNS two goals, it’s tough to get back into the game.

“And in fairness, the same as we did last year, we got back into the game at 2-1 and had a really good spell of 15 minutes or so where we looked ourselves, passed the ball well, our movement was good, our desire was good, and then we just give away another free-kick and it’s in the back of our net. 3-1, the game’s nearly over, and then we just look for people to be leaders on the pitch and to realise the situation of the game, but to go three, four, five then, that’s a bit disappointing.

“It’s disappointing because the boys trained really well. This week’s training is probably the best we’ve had in a number of weeks, we worked extremely well, the quality was excellent. 

“We looked like we had a good training week when we got back into the game at 2-1, and we were in the game, but then our heads just dropped after the third goal and there was no coming back from that.

“I just know that we have to be better in both boxes. We know that, but in terms of work rate I think the boys worked really hard today, which you’re going to have to do against TNS because they have so much of the ball. But we need to defend our goal a lot better than we are at the moment.”

Haverfordwest face another tough test next week, as they host second in the league Connah's Quay Nomads.