Two second-half goals condemned Haverfordwest County to a disappointing defeat against Aberystwyth Town at Park Avenue in the JD Cymru Premier on Tuesday night.
After a goalless first-half, which the Bluebirds controlled in large parts, Aber scored twice after the break through Sam Phillips and Mathew Jones’ penalty to clinch a 2-0 victory.
County were reduced to 10 men after 73 minutes when substitute Henry Jones was shown a straight red card after protesting with referee Aaron Jones for his decision to award a penalty to the hosts.
Despite this setback County battled admirably in the closing stages, and crafted out a couple of half chances, but were unable to reduce the deficit.
Interim manager Gary Richards selected the same starting 11 that took to the field against Pen-y-Bont last Friday, with Kieran Lewis and Corey Shephard – in his first game since returning to the club from Merthyr Town – added to a strong substitutes bench.
In a first-half of very few clear-cut opportunities, striker Jordan Davies looked the likeliest to give the Bluebirds the lead.
His shot from the right edge of the area went over the crossbar after 10 minutes, before his effort from 20 yards out just four minutes later went just wide of the left post, taking a deflection it’s path to goal.
The hosts, who were celebrating becoming the first team to play 1000 matches in the JD Cymru Premier, had the first chance of the second-half when defender Louis Bradford headed a ball from the left touchline narrowly wide.
Richards made two changes with the hour mark approaching, as Alhagi Touray Sisay and Shephard came on in place of Ben Fawcett and Kurtis Rees.
Not long after, though, the Seasiders took the lead when Phillips dispossessed captain Dylan Rees before firing past Lee Idzi into the left corner.
Lewis and Jones were introduced after 70 minutes in place of Danny Williams and Ricky Watts, as the Bluebirds looked for a way back into the game, however they found themselves two goals behind minutes later when Idzi was adjudged to have brought down Aber frontman Harry Franklin inside the area.
Jones made no mistake from 12 yards to double the hosts’ advantage and leave County with a mountain to climb.
The Bluebirds pushed forward in desperate search of a way back into the game in the closing stages, with our best chance coming when an excellent pinpoint pass from Lewis found Davies inside the area, but he couldn’t direct his effort on goal.
The result sees County remain 11th in the Cymru Premier standings, four points behind Barry Town United who play their game in hand away at Pen-y-Bont on Friday evening.
We have a chance to put things right when we host the Seasiders in the return fixture next Friday (February 11) at the Ogi Bridge Meadow. Kick-off is 19:45.
Ticket prices for the game have again been reduced to £5 for adults and £3 for concessions, with under-16s free. Pure West Radio will be in attendance to provide matchday entertainment, and we look forward to seeing as many fans as possible in attendance to cheer the team on in what is another crucial match in Phase One.
You can purchase tickets from our online club shop.
Aberystwyth Town: Zabret, Rimmer, Davies (Evans 58′), Bradford, Jenkins, Thorn (C), M. Jones, Veale, Franklin, Phillips (Wynne 77′), Davies
Substitutes not used: Pennock, Orford, Allen, J. Jones, Booker
Yellow cards: Thorn 19′, Rimmer 67′, Wynne 88′
Haverfordwest County: Idzi, Wilson, Richards, Scotcher, Rees (Shephard 56′), George, Watts (Jones 71′), Rees, Williams (Lewis 71′), Fawcett (Touray Sisay 56′), Davies
Substitutes not used: Gajda, Le-Grice, Humphreys
Yellow card: Watts 62′
Red card: Jones 73′