Haverfordwest County made it consecutive victories in the JD Cymru Premier Playoff Conference with a comfortable 4-0 win over Airbus UK Broughton at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Saturday.
Goals from Ben Fawcett, Ioan Evans, Jamie Veale and debutant Dan Hawkins helped the Bluebirds to a routine success, after midfielder Ricky Watts had been shown a straight red card on the half-hour mark.
The Wingmakers were also reduced to 10 men when defender Gareth Edwards was given his marching orders with just over 15 minutes remaining, and the Town took full advantage to add two more goals to their tally and send the supporters home happy.
The result means County remain seventh and top of the Playoff Conference with a four-point lead over nearest rivals Caernarfon Town, who lost 1-0 at home to Aberystwyth Town on Friday night.
Manager Tony Pennock made just one alteration to the side that beat Aberystwyth at Park Avenue last Saturday, with Veale coming in for Henry Jones in the midfield. Defender Oscar Borg returned from suspension, while new signing Dan Hawkins was named on the bench. Captain Dylan Rees continued in the midfield, as he made his 50th league appearance for the Bluebirds.
After a relatively quiet opening the match, the Town created the first opportunity when a clipped ball into the area found Jack Wilson who crossed it first-time, but the Airbus defence recovered to put the ball behind.
Zac Jones then had to be alert to divert a cross from the byline behind for a corner, before Wilson’s effort from inside the area somehow evaded everyone before taking a touch off an Airbus player and rolling just wide of the left post.
The Bluebirds remained on the front foot, as Rhys Abbruzzese was picked out by a ball to the back post before directing it goalwards and seeing it go just wide after flicking off a Wingmakers player.
Then, just three minutes later, Haverfordwest County were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Watts was sent off for a foul on Jamie Crowther in midfield. There was a risk that this could derail the team, however Pennock’s men responded in perfect fashion three minutes later when Wilson hared down the right flank before crossing to the far post to find Fawcett, who made no mistake from close range for his sixth goal of the season.
After scoring the winning goal against Aberystwyth a week prior, Evans was rewarded with another start in midfield, and with half-time approaching he came close to doubling the Bluebirds’ lead when he showed quick feet to beat his man before firing a shot goalwards which Lewis Dutton turned behind.
There was still time for the Town to craft out a couple more opportunities before the break, with Wilson’s cross from the byline not dealt with initially and finding it’s way to Fawcett, whose shot on the turn was saved, before Abbruzzese’s low driven effort from 25 yards was not far wide of the right post.
There was a scare for the hosts five minutes after the restart when a cross into the area picked out the unmarked Adam Davies, but the striker headed well wide of the left post.
Pennock’s side were desperate for a second goal to give themselves some breathing space, and they did just that shortly after the hour mark when Evans followed up on Fawcett’s saved effort and rolled the ball into the left corner for his second goal in as many games.
Two minutes later, Evans had a good chance to score his second goal of the match, but his free-kick from 25 yards flew just wide of the right post.
County were very much in command at this point, both on the field and on the scoreboard, and the visitors’ afternoon went from bad to worse when defender Edwards was sent off for denying Fawcett a clear goalscoring opportunity. The Wingmakers would pay the ultimate price, as from the resulting free-kick Veale stepped up and curled the ball inside the right post to make it 3-0 and all but seal victory.
With the result already secured, the Bluebirds were able to add extra gloss to the scoreline and round the afternoon off in perfect fashion when Hawkins – who had been introduced after 70 minutes – got on the end of fellow substitute Jack Leahy’s cross from the byline to divert it home from point-blank range.
The Bluebirds are next in action on Saturday, March 25, when we host Caernarfon Town at the Ogi Bridge Meadow. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.
Haverfordwest County: Z. Jones, Wilson, Jazz (Borg 77′), Jenkins, Watts, Abbruzzese, Rees (C), Veale (H. John 81′), Evans (Hawkins 70′), J. Davies, Fawcett (Leahy 77′)
Substitutes not used: Idzi, Humphreys, H. Jones
Red card: Watts 30′
Airbus UK Broughton: Dutton, Tomassen (C), Palmer, G. Edwards, R. Edwards, Crowther, Cornish (Leblanc-Akpo 66′), Davies (Cooke 88′), Rickett, Knight (McManus 46′), Perry (Burke 66′)
Substitute not used: McHarrie
Yellow cards: Palmer 36′, Tomassen 39′, Leblanc-Akpo 90′
Red card: G. Edwards 73′