Haverfordwest County battled admirably but were ultimately edged out by a solitary goal against Connah’s Quay Nomads at Deeside Stadium yesterday.
Harry Franklin’s goal 11 minutes into the second half was the difference in a game which saw very few chances and lacked any real spark.
The Bluebirds crafted a couple of good opportunities to score, but were unable to take anything from the game to back up Tuesday night’s victory over Cardiff Metropolitan.
Manager Tony Pennock made two changes from the side which beat the Archers, with Jamie Veale and Ben Fawcett unavailable through illness and injury respectively, as Jazz Richards returned to start along with Ivan Watkins, who was handed his full debut in the JD Cymru Premier.
It was the visitors who were first to threaten the goal on a sunny afternoon in Flintshire, with Watkins exchanging passes with Harri John – who started once again for the Bluebirds – before seeing his curling effort pushed around the post by Andy Firth.
Shortly after, Jack Wilson, who was starting in his more familiar position on the right wing, timed his run cleverly to beat Ben Nash to a bouncing ball and sprint through on goal, however he opted to try and chip the goalkeeper and saw his effort clear the crossbar.
The former champions were forced into making an early change, with Ryan Harrington coming on to replace Kris Owens, as the remainder of the first half developed into a midfield battle with neither side able to craft out any scoring opportunities.
Pennock made an enforced change during the interval, with Kyle Patten coming on to replace Jazz Richards, as the defender got 45 valuable minutes in the bank as he continues to build match fitness following his return from injury.
Returning to his former club, Jordan Davies went close 10 minutes after the restart when his shot from the edge of the area took a deflection and looped just over the bar.
However, just two minutes later, the Nomads took the lead when the ball landed at the feet of Aeron Edwards inside the area, and the midfielder rolled it into the path of Franklin who scored from close range.
New signing Elliott Dugan was introduced just after the hour mark for his first apppearance for the club, as County searched for a way back into the game.
Chances were hard to come by in the final 30 minutes, however the Bluebirds went close to levelling the game with just two minutes remaining when Elliot Scotcher’s ball into the area was headed goalwards by Patten, but Firth reacted sharply to tip it over the bar and ensure the victory for his side.
The Bluebirds are next in action on Saturday, October 8, when we travel to Ystrad Mynach to face Trethomas Bluebirds in the second round of the JD Welsh Cup. Kick-off is at 5.45pm.
Connah’s Quay Nomads: Firth, Disney, Horan (C), Stratulis, Morris, Wilde, Franklin (Mendes 90+1′), Hayes (A. Williams 90+1′), Nash, Owens (Harrington 20′), Edwards
Substitutes not used: Rushton, Malkin, J. Williams, Pownall
Haverfordwest County: Jones, Richards, D. Rees (C), Jenkins, Humphreys, Abbruzzese, Scotcher, H. John, Wilson, J. Davies, Watkins
Substitutes not used: L. Davies, D. John, James
Yellow cards: Rees 77′