JD Cymru South
Haverfordwest County 2 Cwmbran Celtic 2
This match between two clubs who were positioned at opposite ends of the table, was played in very difficult conditions with the wind spoiling any chance of it being a decent spectacle. Unfortunately, for the second home game on the bounce, the Bluebirds dropped vital points in their quest for the championship and, I have to say, for much of the game and particularly in the second half their performance was rather lacklustre. However, manager Wayne Jones , was forced into several team changes with Sean Pemberton (suspended), Ricky Watts(unavailable), Jack Britton (suspended), Sam Rodon (unavailable) and Miles John (injured).
In the first half, the Blues had most of the possession whilst playing into the strong wind but once again their inability to finish after good approach work was disappointing. But the often impressive BEN FAWCETT did strike twice late in the half (on 34 and 39 minutes )and the score line at that stage looked a fair one with the Blues looking comfortable. Tim Hicks also had a good chance direct from a corner but his header was directed straight at the Celtic ‘keeper. However, things quickly changed and on the stroke of half time Cwmbran were awarded a free kick which was hit long into the penalty area. The Blues defence seemed to switch off allowing Tom Meecham to reduce the arrears
Home fans – and there were very view of them present – thought that, with the elements in their favour and the pace of their strikers, the Blues would take control. Jack Wilson should have extended the lead when he had a good sight of goal from 15 yards but he blasted his shot straight at the visitors’ ‘keeper. Substitute Gwion Howell, who replaced Marcus Taylor on 62 minutes, also had a good chance to score but he guided his header just wide of the upright.
The always determined Cwmbran Celtic were slowly getting a grip of the game and with the Bluebirds’ midfield not operating as they would have liked, the possibility of an equaliser looked a worrying possibility. That became a reality on 70miniutes when home ‘keeper, Kelland Absalom who had not had a busy afternoon, mis-judged a situation and unnecessarily came wide of his line bringing down a Celtic player in the process. Skipper Rakesh Patel made no mistake from the spot and his team were back on terms. Much of the final 20 minutes were evenly contested with no real alarms at either end and the game petered out into the draw that certainly the home side did not want.
Sadly, in the last two home games, the Bluebirds have missed a great chance to go clear of the field but one point out six is certainly not Championship winning form and manager Wayne Jones will be determined to get his side back on track quickly. Fortunately the top four sides all dropped points at the weekend so the destiny of Wolvesy’s side is still in their own hands.
Next week the Bluebirds travel to Taffs Well who are part of the relegation battle so a quick return to form will be what is required for that one.
Haverfordwest County: Kelland Absalom, Jake Merry, Harri Rowe, Kieran Howard, Tim Hicks, Scott Tancock(capt), Nicky Palmer, Kurtis Rees, Ben Fawcett, Marcus Griffiths (sub Gwion Howells 62mins), Jack Wilson (sub Cory Saunders 86mins)
Subs not used: Steve Hall(gk), Kieran King