Haverfordwest County began life under new manager Tony Pennock with a 5-1 victory over Afan Lido at the Marston’s Stadium last night.
Two goals from Ryan George, along with efforts from Ben Fawcett, Henry Jones and Jordan Davies gave the Bluebirds a comfortable win over the JD Cymru South outfit, in what was our first pre-season friendly in front of fans.
The game provided Pennock with an opportunity to see his new team in action for the first time, with 17 players featuring throughout the 90 minutes in Aberavon.
The Bluebirds showed intent to get forward right from the kick-off with Jordan Davies pulling a ball back to Dylan Rees on the edge of the area, with his first-time shot going wide of the left post.
Lido then went close to taking the lead shortly after, when a header from a free-kick was glanced just wide of the right post.
Pennock was able to celebrate a County goal for the first time when Ricky Watts’ ball into the box picked out Fawcett, who rose highest to head in from close range.
The striker had a great opportunity to double our advantage just a minute later when he broke through on goal, but his effort was saved.
The Bluebirds were forced into making their first substitution of the evening with only 23 minutes on the clock, when defender Kyle Patten went down off the ball. Iori Humphreys came on in his place.
It was 2-0 not long after when Henry Jones’ ball over the top played Fawcett into space, and he squared to the unmarked George who tapped in from point-blank range.
There was enough time for the Bluebirds to add two more goals before the interval. Firstly, a pinpoint ball from Henry Jones – who was at his creative best on the evening – picked out George at the far post, and he found the bottom right corner for his second goal of the game.
Then, with the final play before the break, the ball was worked to Henry Jones on the edge of the area, and his low, precise effort found the bottom left corner and went in off the post to take the score to 4-0.
The same team that ended the first-half headed back out for the second period, and they took just less than 10 minutes to find a fifth goal of the night when a defensive error from the hosts played Jordan Davies in, and the forward rounded the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.
On the hour mark, Pennock chose to introduce all five of our outfield substitutes, with Ioan Evans, Jack Wilson, Dan James, Toby Davies and Trialist coming on for the final half an hour.
Wilson had the ball in the net six minutes after taking to the field, when he received Evans’ cross-field pass and rolled the ball in, but the flag went up for offside.
The hosts were improved in the second-half and began to create more chances, but Zac Jones was equal to their efforts, firstly tipping the ball over the bar and then making a save in a one-on-one situation.
Lido did pull a goal back with just over five minutes remaining when a quick counter-attack ended with the ball being tapped home from a few yards out.
Next up for the Bluebirds is a game in Llandarcy on Friday evening, following the cancellation of our friendly with Pembrokeshire League Division One side Goodwick United.
Haverfordwest County: Z. Jones, George, Rees, Jenkins, Patten, Abbruzzese, L. Davies, Watts, H. Jones, J. Davies, Fawcett
Substitutes: Brass, Evans, Wilson, James, T. Davies, Trialist