Haverfordwest County returned to winning ways in the JD Cymru Premier in emphatic fashion with a comfortable 6-1 victory over Cefn Druids at The Rock.
Wing-back Jazz Richards netted a hat-trick, with Jordan Davies converting twice from the penalty spot after Ryan George had opened the scoring.
Ioan Evans’ free-kick had reduced the deficit to 3-1 in the first-half, but that was as good as it got for the already-relegated Ancients.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the closing stages, with defenders Alaric Jones and Nacho Torres both dismissed for second bookable offences.
The result, a second consecutive 6-1 win over the Druids, sees County close the gap on seventh placed Cardiff Metropolitan to just a point, after the Archers drew 1-1 with Aberystwyth Town at Cyncoed Campus.
Manager Nicky Hayen made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Aber on Tuesday, with Jones, George, Kieran Lewis and Henry Jones all coming into the starting lineup, with Jack Wilson (suspension), Kurtis Rees, Corey Shephard (injury) and Alhagi Touray Sisay dropping out.
After a relatively low key start, the Bluebirds took the lead after 21 minutes when Davies’ cross in from the left picked out George inside the area, and the wing-back made no mistake from close range to direct his header past Rhys Williams and into the net.
JAZZ RICHARDS 🤩
Hat-trick for the former @Cymru international as he scores for the first, second and third time in his senior footballing career 👏👏@HaverfordwestFC | @CymruLeagues
— Sgorio ⚽️ (@sgorio) April 9, 2022
It was 2-0 just 10 minutes later. After winning the ball back high up the pitch, Henry Jones played Ben Fawcett into space inside the area, and the striker’s ball across the face of goal found Richards at the far post – and he tapped into an empty net to double County’s advantage.
Things got even better for Hayen’s side when they were awarded a penalty four minutes later, after Torres bundled Fawcett over inside the area. Davies sent Williams the wrong way with his spot kick, rolling the ball into the left corner to make it 3-0.
The Ancients pulled a goal back shortly after when Evans’ free-kick from just outside the area sent Lee Idzi the wrong way. However, the Bluebirds ended the first-half in fine fashion with Davies scoring from the penalty spot for the second time in eight minutes after the forward was brought down by Phil Mooney, before Richards swept home from Davies’ cross to make it 5-1 at the interval.
County came out after the restart with the same intent, as they looked to add more goals, with Henry Jones firing a shot over the bar and Davies denied a hat-trick by a good save from Williams.
The Bluebirds continued to push forward in search of a sixth goal of the afternoon, and they nearly found it when substitute Touray Sisay – who had come on to replace Lewis – was picked out by a pinpoint pass from Fawcett, but he was denied by an outstretched leg from Williams.
The striker had another chance to get on the scoresheet not long after when fellow substitute Danny Williams’ through ball sent him racing through on goal, however he was thwarted by Williams once again in a one-on-one situation.
County were reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining when Jones was shown a second yellow card after remonstrating with referee Ryan Kenny.
The Bluebirds were able to end the afternoon on a positive note though, when, in stoppage time, Williams was clattered inside the area by Torres, who was also shown a second yellow card. The ball was handed to Richards to give the former Wales international the chance to seal his hat-trick, and he duly obliged with an excellent spot kick which found the side netting of the goal to round off a wonderful afternoon for himself and the team.
Haverfordwest County are next in action on Good Friday (April 15), when we host Barry Town United at the Ogi Bridge Meadow. Kick-off is at 14:30, with tickets priced at £7.50 for adults, £5.00 for concessions with under-16s free. You can purchase tickets from our online club shop, or alternatively buy on the gate.
Cefn Druids: Williams, Buckley, Mooney, Flint (C), Lambert (Cabral 59′), Torres, Edge, Cooke (Durnell 52′), I. Evans, Rogers (Walker 83′), Hanley
Substitutes not used: Dutton, P. Evans
Yellow cards: Mooney 42′, Edge 80′, Flint 88′
Red card: Torres 90+4′
Haverfordwest County: Idzi, Richards, D. Rees (C, L. Davies 87′), Patten, A. Jones, George (Humphreys 87′), Scotcher, H. Jones (Watts 76′), Lewis (Touray Sisay 67′), Fawcett, J. Davies (Williams 76′)
Substitutes not used: Z. Jones, K. Rees
Red card: A. Jones 80′