Jordan Davies’ penalty helped Haverfordwest County beat 10-man Flint Town United 1-0 for a timely first away victory of the season in the JD Cymru Premier.
With the game tied at 0-0 in the final 20 minutes, the striker converted from the spot after Rhys Abbruzzese had been brought down inside the area to seal victory.
The hosts played the last half-hour or so with a man less, after forward Jack Hindle was shown a straight red for a stamp on Dylan Rees. From there, County took command and found the all important breakthrough to leave the Essity Stadium with all three points.
Manager Tony Pennock made two changes to the team from MD13, with Lee Idzi starting in goal and Elliott Dugan coming into the starting XI to partner Ben Fawcett up top.
The Silkmen made a bright start to the game, and the Haverfordwest County defence had to be alert to block Larnell Cole’s shot from inside the area after two minutes. Idzi was called into action 10 minutes later to produce an impressive diving save to deny Cole’s effort from 20 yards out.
Five minutes later, Okera Simmonds had a great opportunity to test Idzi with a free-kick from just outside the area, but his effort flew well over the crossbar, much to County’s relief.
After weathering this early spell of pressure from the Silkmen, Pennock’s men began to grow into the contest, with Jack Wilson going close when his attempted cross into the area just cleared the bar.
Captain Rees, who produced an excellent display alongside Jamie Veale in midfield, then went close just a minute later when he skilfully brought the ball under his spell before bursting forward and shooting just wide of the right post from 20 yards.
Playing just behind the front two, Davies started to get more involved in the game and had his first chance with a glancing header which was saved by Harry Allen.
The Bluebirds were forced into a change five minutes before half-time, when Wilson came off to be replaced by Harri John.
Looking to grab the initiative in the second half, the visitors had the first opportunity after the break when Abbruzzese’s cross into the area picked out Dugan, but the Flint defence applied just enough pressure to put the striker off.
As the game wore on the Silkmen began to run out of ideas going forward, with the County back three of Lee Jenkins, Elliot Scotcher and Kyle Patten keeping them at bay with impressive displays both individually and as a unit.
Just after Dugan’s chance, the game’s pivotal moment arrived when Hindle was given his marching orders by Iwan Griffith for leaving his studs on Rees in clear view of the referee, reducing Flint to 10 men for the last 30 minutes of the game.
It took the Bluebirds 10 minutes to take advantage. From a corner, the ball fell to Abbruzzese, and the wing-back advanced into the area before being brought down by Harry Owen to earn a spot kick, which Davies slotted home to make it 1-0.
Knowing the three points were within touching distance, Haverfordwest County showed impressive game management to keep the Silkmen at arm’s length and close out what could prove to be a hugely important away victory.
The Bluebirds are next in action on Saturday, November 19, when we travel to the Hollingsworth Group Stadium to take on Airbus UK Broughton. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.
Flint Town United: Allen, Stephens, H. Owen, Harrison (Ibrahim 80′), Cole (Hughes 46′), J. Owen (C), Hindle, Cadwallader (Akpa Akpro 46′), Simmonds, Beaumont, Garratt (Brindley-Peagram 85′)
Substitutes not used: Szczepaniak, Carroll, Roberts
Red card: Hindle 63′
Haverfordwest County: Idzi, Wilson (H. John 40′), Jenkins, Scotcher, Patten, Abbruzzese, Rees (C), Veale, J. Davies, Fawcett (Watkins 90′), Dugan (Shephard 89′)
Substitutes not used: Jones, Humphreys, Evans, Watts