Haverfordwest County played out a 0-0 draw with Aberystwyth Town in the JD Cymru Premier on Friday evening, in front of a healthy crowd at the Ogi Bridge Meadow.
The Bluebirds were on the front foot throughout the game against an Aber side who were content to sit back and wait for their opportunities on the counter-attack.
The golden opportunity arrived late in the second-half when County were awarded a penalty, but Danny Williams saw his spot kick saved by goalkeeper Alex Pennock.
The best chances of the game fell the way of the Bluebirds, with Kieran Lewis hitting the crossbar amongst a host of opportunities for the hosts to open the scoring.
Interim manager Gary Richards made three changes to the side last lost to Aber last Tuesday, with Kyle Patten, Kieran Lewis and Corey Shephard coming into the starting lineup in place of Jazz Richards, Kurtis Rees and Ricky Watts.
County started the game brightly, with Ben Fawcett played into space by Jordan Davies before cutting inside onto his right foot and curling just wide of the right post.
Wing-back Ryan George was next to try his luck when his shot from the edge of the area went just over the crossbar.
It was very much a case of attack versus defence in the first-half, with Lewis coming closest when the ball fell to his feet from a corner before he unleashed a powerful effort which flew agonisingly over the bar.
With the Bluebirds continuing to push forward, Corey Shephard – who was making his first start since rejoining the club – saw his first shot blocked before the ball rebounded to his feet, allowing him to get a second effort away which was saved low down by Pennock.
There was another close call in first-half stoppage time when George’s cross into the area just evaded the head of Williams, with the Bluebirds left to wonder how they hadn’t taken the lead in a dominant opening half display.
The hosts started the second-half in a similar vein, and went close to taking the lead when Elliot Scotcher’s free-kick was headed away, but only into the path of Lewis, whose thunderous effort came back off the bar.
County didn’t have time to rue this latest missed opportunity when, a matter of moments later, a cross in from the left beat everyone and just evaded the onrushing Davies at the back post.
Striker Alhagi Touray Sisay was introduced with just under 20 minutes remaining, and the Spaniard had an immediate impact when he broke into the area before being impeded by substitute Ben Wynne.
Williams took the responsibility, but he was unfortunate to see his well struck spot kick pushed away by Pennock, who had guessed correctly and leaped to his right to deny the midfielder.
County continued to push forward in search of the opening goal, and came close once more when the ball fell to the feet of Davies inside the area, but he could only fire over the bar from close range.
Having controlled the ball and been the team in the ascendency throughout the game, the Bluebirds were nearly hit with a sucker punch with a minute remaining in normal time, but keeper Lee Idzi was equal to substitute Jonathan Evans’ strike from the edge of the area.
Next up in the league is a trip to north Wales to face Cefn Druids in two weeks time (February 26) at The Rock in the final game of Phase One. Kick-off is 12:45.
Haverfordwest County: Idzi, Wilson, D. Rees (C), Patten, Scotcher, George, Lewis, Shephard (K. Rees 81′), Williams, Fawcett (Touray Sisay 72′), J. Davies
Substitutes not used: Gajda, A. Jones, Humphreys, L. Davies, Watts
Yellow cards: D. Rees 61′, Lewis 63′, Shephard 65′
Aberystwyth Town: Pennock, Rimmer, Davies, Bradford, Jenkins, Thorn (C), M. Jones, Veale, J. Owen (Evans 79′), Franklin, Phillips (Wynne 72′)
Substitutes not used: O. Jones, Orford, T. Owen, Allen, J. Jones
Yellow cards: Rimmer 42′, Franklin 42′, J. Owen 73′, Thorn 90′