Manager Tony Pennock was pleased with his side’s second-half display as Haverfordwest County defeated Airbus UK Broughton 3-0 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow to move joint top of the JD Cymru Premier.
The Bluebirds did lead 1-0 at the interval thanks to Henry Jones’ free-kick goal in first-half stoppage time, but Pennock’s side weren’t at their best in the opening 45 minutes against a Wingmakers outfit which battled hard throughout the afternoon.
Substitute Jordan Davies scored two goals after the break to add extra gloss to the scoreline, with County much more controlled in the second period to eventually run out comfortable winners against the newly-promoted visitors.
“It was a game of two halves, I thought first-half we were awful,” said Pennock. “The boys know that, they accept that, they know themselves that for us to come in 1-0 ahead at half-time was a travesty really, but you have to take those breaks when they come.
“We took advantage of it and then capitalised on it in the second-half. The boys were much better, more like themselves, and we still had more chances than the ones we actually took, but 3-0, pleasing, and we move on.”
Haverfordwest County had to be strong defensively in a first-half which saw the north Walians use their physicality to good effect, as Steve O’Shaughnessy’s side got in to dangerous positions but couldn’t make the most of their territory.
“Thankfully our goalkeeper did well under pressure several times,” continued Pennock. “Our three centre-backs dealt with the balls that came into the box from free-kicks and long throws, but we can’t keep giving teams opportunities to do the things that they’re really good at, and that’s what we allowed them to do in the first-half.”
The Bluebirds’ defensive shutout – their second of the league campaign so far – was something which pleased the manager just as much as his team’s attacking display in the second-half.
“I love clean sheets,” he said. “Being a goalkeeper, I used to count all of my clean sheets, and that’s what I say to the defenders and goalkeepers: you need to take pride in keeping the ball out of your net.
“However it happens, you have to do it, stop the ball going in the goal, and if you do that more often than not you’ve got a chance of winning games.
“Yes, Airbus had a couple of chances in the first-half from their set-pieces, but we managed to defend them well and then it gave us the opportunity to take our chances at the other end of the pitch when they came.
“I’m pleased with scoring three, it could have been more, but like I said we were very fortunate to be 1-0 up at half-time, so any win would have been pleasing today.”
The result, while extending our unbeaten start to the season, also saw us move to the summit of the league standings, joint on seven points with reigning champions The New Saints. And while Pennock acknowledges that we are only three games into the season, it is nevertheless a nice place to be.
“It’s good to accumulate points as quick as you can,” he said. “We’ve got seven out of nine, and we certainly would have taken that with the first six games we’ve got, five out of the top six from last season and Airbus, a team that got promoted and are used to winning games of football. Teams who are used to winning games, it’s a good habit to have, and in the end we’ve won 3-0.
“So seven points from three [games], we’ll take that, and we’ve got three tough games coming up now. Penybont is the first one of those, and we look forward to going there on Tuesday night.”