Rhys Abbruzzese’s 96th-minute free-kick rescued a point for Haverfordwest County against Caernarfon Town at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors had taken the lead in the 77th minute through Louis Lloyd, after Martell Taylor Crossdale – who was making his first start at home – had seen his first-half penalty saved by Lewis Webb, and looked to be heading for victory until the wing-back stepped up to deny them all three points.
The game was an entertaining affair, with opportunities aplenty for both teams, and on another day there could easily have been more goals.
The result leaves the Bluebirds still searching for their first victory of the season, with a visit to Barry Town United on Tuesday evening next up for the Town.
Manager Tony Pennock made one change to the team that lost 2-0 to Pen-y-Bont on MD2, with Ricky Watts coming in for the injured Jack Wilson in defence. The substitutes, meanwhile, included five Academy products in Harri John, Lucas Davies, Iori Humphreys, Seth Woodhouse and Dan John.
Haverfordwest County: Jones, Watts (H. John 81′), Jenkins, Tabone (C), Borg, Abbruzzese, Owen, Whitmore, Hawkins, Fawcett, Taylor-Crossdale
Substitutes not used: Knott, Humphreys, Davies, Woodhouse, Williams-Lowe, D. John
The visitors had a great chance to take the lead after just two minutes when a corner found its way through to full-back Iwan Cartwright at the back post, and his effort from point-blank range struck the crossbar before being cleared to safety by Oscar Borg.
The Bluebirds had their first opportunity of the game six minutes later, as a winding run from Tyrese Owen saw the midfielder advance to the edge of the area before unleashing a low, driven shot which was saved and eventually retrieved at the second attempt by Lewis Webb.
Owen was involved again 10 minutes later when a cross from the left edge of the area from Abbruzzese landed at the feet of the midfielder, but his effort from a matter of yards out was saved by the alert Webb, who was then able to protect the ball and prevent Owen from having another attempt on goal.
With the half-hour mark approaching, Pennock’s men thought they had taken the lead when captain Luke Tabone’s cross from the right side of the box was diverted home by Ben Fawcett, but the forward was denied by the linesman’s flag.
After Tabone had headed narrowly over the bar from a corner, County were given a great opportunity to go ahead when Taylor-Crossdale was played in by Fawcett, before being brought down inside the area by Ryan Austin. However, the striker’s spot-kick, which was heading for the bottom-left corner, was well saved by Webb who had guessed the right way to keep the scores level.
The second period was always unlikely to deliver as much drama as the first, with both teams wondering how the game remained level at the interval.
There were still opportunities created, but none as clear-cut as those that had come earlier in the contest, with Tabone having a shot deflected behind, before his defensive partner, Lee Jenkins, had a header saved.
Fawcett then sent an effort over the bar, before Kai Whitmore’s slaloming run took him inside the area only to see his shot blocked by the Caernarfon defence.
The hosts had a presentable chance with just over 15 minutes remaining when Watts’ delivery into the area picked out Jenkins, who headed just wide. However, just two minutes later, the Town were punished as Wynne chipped a ball into the area which was met by the head of Lloyd, as the ball looped over Zac Jones and into the right corner to give the visitors the lead.
Despite searching desperately for a late equaliser, the Bluebirds were finding openings hard to come by as the clock ticked down. That was until the sixth minute of added time, when Abbruzzese was brought down just outside the area, and stepped up to send his free-kick over the wall and into the right side of the net past the despairing Webb to send the sizeable home crowd wild.