Despite a valiant display at the home of the reigning JD Cymru Premier champions, Haverfordwest County were edged out 1-0 by Connah’s Quay Nomads thanks to Paulo Mendes’ second-half strike.

There was nothing to separate the sides in a goalless first-half, with both teams far from their fluent best in attack.

County suffered a setback eight minutes after the restart when Mendes found the net from close range, but they continued to battle away in a game which saw very few clear-cut chances for either side.

Interim managers Sean Pemberton and Jazz Richards made one change to the starting lineup from last week’s draw against Bala Town, with Ricky Watts replacing Kieran Lewis. Midfielder Kurtis Rees made a welcome return to the squad, starting from the bench after missing the recent run of games through injury.

The Bluebirds knew it was important to begin well against a Nomads side who are now unbeaten in eight games, and Elliot Scotcher nearly gave them the perfect start when his free-kick from just outside the area struck the left post.

Three minutes later, County were forced into an early substitution when Alaric Jones was unable to continue, with Kurtis Rees coming on in his place.

10 minutes after this, Mason Jones-Thomas picked up an injury after a coming together, and after a couple of stretches he eventually headed off, with Alhagi Touray Sisay replacing the winger.

The Nomads had a couple of efforts on goal in a fairly low key first-half, with Declan Poole and Aron Williams both firing over the crossbar.

Danny Williams’ speculative effort cleared the bar in the early stages of the second-half, but just five minutes later the Nomads were ahead when Poole’s cross found its way to an unmarked Mendes, whose powerful low strike gave Lee Idzi no chance.

County suffered a third injury setback with just under a quarter of an hour remaining, with substitute Kurtis Rees taking a blow to the face which later required stitches. Academy product Iori Humphreys came on in his place, providing him with another opportunity to continue his development.

The closest the Bluebirds came in the closing stages was when Williams’ cross from the byline went into the side netting, as a frustrating afternoon saw Haverfordwest County return home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Connah’s Quay Nomads: Byrne, Disney, Harrington, Horan (C), Mendes, Morris, Insall (J. Owen 81′), Poole, Owens, Curran, A. Williams (Mullan 75′)

Substitutes not used: Calderbank-Park, Harrison, Edwards, Williams, H. Owen

Haverfordwest County: Idzi, Richards, Patten, Jones (K. Rees 8′, Humphreys 79′), Wilson, D. Rees (C), Watts, Scotcher, Williams, Jones-Thomas (Touray Sisay 19′), Fawcett

Substitutes not used: Gajda, Davies

Attendance: 201