JD Cymru South:
Llanelli Town 0 Haverfordwest County 1
(Courtesy of Gordon Thomas)
Nicky Palmer struck early to earn Haverfordwest County a hard-fought victory over Llanelli Town at Stebonheath Park on Friday night.
This was the second time that Haverfordwest County have beaten the Reds in as many weeks, and this was the visitors’ fifth straight win.
Haverfordwest County sit second in the table just a point behind leaders Swansea University, the latter impressively won 4-1 at third placed Briton Ferry Llansawel.
The visitors got off to a flyer in the fifth minute, Marcus Griffiths made good ground down the right, then the striker’s intelligent cross fell to Palmer who was completely unmarked inside the box, and the midfielder looked up and picked his spot.
The Reds were unlucky not to square matters when Nathan Logan’s header struck the far post as he clattered into Miles John.
In the 28th minute, Jack Wilson’s deadly long throw wasn’t dealt with in the box as Griffiths reacted quickest to get his shot away but it was somehow cleared off the line.
Neither side could get a hold in the game for the remainder of the half and Harri Rowe fired a long range direct free kick high and wide.
In the 57th minute the lively Ben Fawcett tormented the defenders down the right, he whipped in a cross but it just evaded Griffiths and Wilson when they only needed a touch.
On the hour mark, The Reds pressed hard for an equaliser, right back William Wang struck a vicious shot from the edge of the box straight at Kyle Stuart.
In the 78th minute, Logan struck a spectacular far post bicycle kick which was stopped by Stuart’s feet.
Both defences played well with Reds’ skipper Lee Bevan and Bluebirds’ skipper Sean Pemberton both rock solid at centre back.
On 80 minutes the visitors made a double substitution with Jake Merry and coach Tim Hicks replacing Miles John and Jack Wilson respectively.
Just five minutes before full time County’s Kurtis Rees and Llanelli’s James Loveridge both received red cards for an altercation. Both players will automatically be suspended for three games.
“We worked hard out of possession and nullified their attacking options and reduced their threats,” said Bluebirds manager Wayne Jones.
“The game was scrappy at times, but our game management was better. We kept a clean sheet and that’s five wins on the bounce.”
Next Friday, 10th January, Haverfordwest face another stiff test, this time at Afan Lido, the kick-off is at 7.30pm.
Haverfordwest County: Kyle Stuart, Miles John (80 Jake Merry), Harri Rowe, Sean Pemberton (Captain), Scott Tancock, Ricky Watts, Kurtis Rees, Nicky Palmer, Marcus Griffiths, Ben Fawcett, Jack Wilson (80 Tim Hicks).
Substitutes not used: Seamus Drake, Dafydd Harman.