Haverfordwest County gained valuable experience from a pre-season friendly against a full strength Swansea City at Fairwood on Friday afternoon.
The match, which finished 7-0 to the hosts, provided with the Bluebirds with a rare opportunity to take on opposition from the second tier of English football.
It also gave the coaching staff a chance to take a first look at the new signings in action, with the Bluebirds varying their line-up as the game went on.
Summer additions Jamie Veale, Rhys Abbruzzese, Ioan Evans and Lee Jenkins were all involved at various stages, as they made their bows in Haverfordwest County colours.
The Swans took an early lead when defender Kyle Naughton found space to shoot from the edge of the area, with a slight deflection helping the ball on its way into the top right corner of the net.
Five minutes later, the hosts worked the ball into the area and looked likely to create a dangerous situation, but captain Dylan Rees was on hand to slide in and clear the danger.
Striker Joël Piroe, who scored 22 goals in the Sky Bet Championship last season, displayed his predatory instincts from close range with a couple of goals in as many minutes. Firstly, the Dutchman tucked home from Cameron Congreve’s cross, before turning to shoot from the edge of the area and finding the left corner to make it 3-0.
Piroe completed his hat-trick with 10 minutes remaining in the first-half, as neat play around the box saw the ball find its way through to the front man, and he made no mistake with a first-time shot into the left corner.
The Bluebirds battled admirably throughout a challenging period, and they created an opportunity with just a minute remaining before half-time. A pinpoint ball across the field picked out Jack Wilson, who cut inside but saw his space limited by goalkeeper Andy Fisher, who blocked the winger’s shot.
Swansea reversed their line-up for the second-half, while County made a few alterations to freshen things up.
With new manager Tony Pennock watching on, the team continued to fight for every ball, and it took until the hour mark for the Swans to find their next goal as substitute Jamie Paterson cut inside on to his right foot and curled the ball into the right corner.
One of the standout performers of the day for the Bluebirds was goalkeeper Zac Jones, who came on for the second period and made a string of impressive saves to keep the scoreline down and outline his credentials between the sticks.
Either side of Wilson – who produced a typically tireless display – seeing his chipped in a one-on-one situation gathered by Steven Benda, substitute striker Liam Cullen added a further two goals for Russell Martin’s side.
There are 10 days to wait until we return to the field to continue our pre-season preparations, with an away trip to Aberavon to take on JD Cymru South outfit Afan Lido on July 12.