First Team
Cymru Premier Tue 31 January Ogi Bridge Meadow Stadium
Haverfordwest County
  • Own Goal (4', 28')
Connah's Quay Nomads
  • Nash (9')

Haverfordwest County ended Phase One of the JD Cymru Premier season in fine fashion with a statement 2-1 victory over Connah’s Quay Nomads at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Tuesday night.

Jordan Davies’ penalty, after Ben Nash had cancelled out Elliott Dugan’s outstanding long-range effort, was enough to give the Bluebirds a deserved win in front of an impressive crowd under the lights.

The Bluebirds created chances aplenty, and also showed their battling qualities as they fought hard to hold on to their lead with the visitors throwing bodies forward in the second half.

The result, which saw County bring an end to the Nomads’ 15-game unbeaten run in the league, helped the Bluebirds climb up one place to seventh, and ensures they will be top of the Playoff Conference when it gets under way next week.

Manager Tony Pennock made two changes to the side that last played on January 7 against The New Saints, with Ricky Watts and Dugan coming in for Jazz Richards and Ben Fawcett (illness).

Having not taken to the field in over three weeks, Pennock’s side were eager to make a fast start, with Jordan Davies’ strike from an unfavourable angle hitting the side netting after two minutes.

The Haverfordwest County players celebrate Elliott Dugan’s goal. © RawPhotography

Given the opportunity to start, Dugan was keen to make the most of his chance, and he did exactly that when, after just four minutes, he sent a looping effort from almost 30 yards over Andy Firth and into the right corner to give the Bluebirds the lead in sublime fashion. The goal, which was one of the best the Ogi Bridge Meadow has seen in many years, was made even better by the stylish flick from Henry Jones which set Dugan up for the strike.

The Nomads were able to find a swift response four minutes later when a corner landed at the feet of Nash, who poked home from close range to draw his side level.

The next 20 minutes or so were evenly-contested, with both teams showing a willingness to attack. Then, with the half-hour mark approaching, the Bluebirds were awarded a penalty when, after a neat interchange between Jack Wilson and Henry Jones, the latter was brought down inside the area by Callum Morris. Davies made no mistake from the spot to restore the Town’s advantage with his ninth league goal of the season.

Neil Gibson’s side could have equalised for a second time not long before the break, as a shot from inside the area was blocked by the scrambling Bluebirds defence, before Joe Malkin diverted his effort over the crossbar.

Jordan Davies celebrates his goal from the penalty spot. © RawPhotography

Pennock’s side knew they were going to have to dig in for large parts of the second half, and they did just that while maintaining a threat on the counter-attack.

Just before the hour mark, Dugan – searching for his second goal of the night – tried his luck fro range with Firth well off his line, however the Nomads keeper recovered to gather the ball.

Ioan Evans was introduced from the bench with just under half an hour remaining to provide energy to the midfield, and shortly after the Bluebirda came close to scoring a third goal when Lee Jenkins’ header from a corner was just over the crossbar.

The game turned into something of a basketball match in the last 20 minutes, with County soaking up Nomads pressure before turning it into attacks of their own as the crowd of 417 were royally entertained right up to the final whistle.

Defender Kyle Patten was named Man of the Match. © RawPhotography

Wilson came close to doubling the lead with a minute left of normal time when he tried a carbon copy of Dugan’s effort from range, this time forcing Firth into making a diving save to push the ball behind.

This proved to be the final action of a pulsating encounter under the lights, as the Town did enough to record one of their most notable victories since returning to the JD Cymru Premier.

Haverfordwest County are next in action on Saturday, February 11, when we travel to The Oval to take on Caernarfon Town in the first game of Phase Two. Kick-off is at 2.30pm, and you will be able to follow live, play-by-play updates on our social media platforms.

Haverfordwest County: Z. Jones, Wilson, Watts (Humphreys 88′), Jenkins, Patten, Abbruzzese, Rees (C), Veale, H. Jones (Evans 62′), J. Davies, Dugan (Jazz 71′)

Substitutes not used: Idzi, Borg, Woodhouse, H. John

Yellow cards: Jazz 75′, J. Davies 90+1′, Rees 90+3′

Connah’s Quay Nomads: Firth, Disney, Horan (C), Nash, Harrington, A. Williams, Morris, Edwards (Roberts 90+1′), J. Williams (Franklin 81′), Malkin, Wilde

Substitutes not used: Foulkes, Owens, Bennett, Sodhi

Attendance: 417