Manager Tony Pennock was disappointed with the manner of the two goals Haverfordwest County conceded in the 2-2 draw with Caernarfon Town on Saturday, but was ultimately pleased with the overall performance as the Bluebirds added another point to their tally.
Goals from Jack Wilson and Kyle Patten weren’t enough to earn the Bluebirds victory, as Gruffydd John’s effort and a second half own goal ensured a share of the spoils.
The result was enough to see the Town remain top of the JD Cymru Premier Playoff Conference, and extended our unbeaten home record to seven matches.
“It’s a point closer to where we want to be,” said Pennock. “But to be ahead twice and to concede two set pieces is extremely frustrating because we’ve been good in recent weeks. We let them back into the game which is disappointing.”
The Bluebirds were on the front foot for large parts of the game, but were ultimately unable to make the most of their good play against a well-drilled Canaries outfit.
“Possession wise, we had a lot of the ball, and Caernarfon were well organised out of possession and at times they were very dangerous on the counter attack,” continued Pennock. “We dealt with that better in the second half than we did first half, but to score two goals at home and concede two set pieces is, as I said, very disappointing.
“But listen, it’s a point, we move on and we prepare for Flint away on Saturday now.”
County’s opening goal, scored by Wilson, was a fine team effort as Jamie Veale’s pinpoint ball upfield picked the number 17 out, and he controlled it perfectly before firing past Josh Tibbetts to make it 1-0.
Commenting on the opener, the manager said: “It was a good goal. Funnily enough Jack scored a similar goal away at Caernarfon. I think it was Abu [Rhys Abbruzzese] who played the ball in that day, but Jack’s got himself in a great position and he’s took it well.
“I thought we had enough chances to win the game, and put balls in dangerous positions in the area, but it just wouldn’t fall for us today. We just couldn’t get on the end of it, and that’s something we’ll work on and something we carry on trying to improve.”
The game at the Ogi Bridge Meadow was former Cymru international Jazz Richards’ 50th in a Bluebirds shirt, however it ended prematurely when the defender was forced off after landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge.
“It’s always tough when somebody gets injured, especially so early in the first half as well,” said Pennock. “You just lose a bit of momentum and have to change things around. It took a while to settle down once Jazz went off, but as the game went on I thought we played quite well. We’ve played a lot worse than that this year, but we just couldn’t get the goal to finish the game off.”
Fellow defender Kyle Patten came on to replace Jazz, and turned in an impressive display which culminated in him scoring the second goal, as he turned home Wilson’s cross from close range.
“Patts had a couple of weeks with a little niggle, so it was good that he came back in today because everybody needs minutes, and once we’ve got the squad that we’ve got the moment it allows us to do that. But losing Jazz, hopefully it’s nothing too serious and he’ll be back with us soon.”
Attacker Dan Hawkins made his first start for the club after scoring as a substitute against Airbus UK Broughton two weeks ago, and Pennock was pleased with the youngster’s display.
“Dan, Jordan, everybody was lively at times,” he said. “I think he [Dan] did tire a bit, because he hasn’t played a full game for a long time, but because of the early substitution with Jazz you lose a sub and we couldn’t really change things too much in terms of forwards.
“It was good for Sheps [Corey Shephard] to get on as well for 20 minutes, it bodes well for the last four games of the season.”
Although his team weren’t able to collect all three points, the boss made clear that he will be focusing on the things we did well as we gear up for our final four games of the season.
“We’re still in seventh, and have a point more than we did when we started the game. So that’s the way to look at it, they’re the positives for me.
“I’m pleased with the way we played, just two lapses of concentration cost us two points today.
“We’ve got four big games, so has everybody else, and all we can do, as I keep saying, is look after ourselves and give the best account of ourselves that we can. If we do that, play like we did today and take our chances, then things will be fine, but we know how tough the last four games are.”