First Team
Cymru Premier Sat 9 September Ogi Bridge Meadow Stadium
Haverfordwest County
  • Cowans (17')
  • Williams (36', 71')
  • Ismail (90+5')

Manager Tony Pennock was left to reflect on a bitterly disappointing afternoon at the Ogi Bridge Meadow, as his Haverfordwest County side were beaten 4-0 by Newtown in the JD Cymru Premier yesterday.

A brace from Aaron Williams, to go with goals from Henry Cowans and Zeli Ismail, condemned the Bluebirds to our heaviest defeat since Pennock arrived last summer, on an afternoon when County simply never got going.

The Town now have a week to regather themselves ahead of what will be a tough task next Saturday, when we travel to Park Hall to face champions The New Saints, and Pennock was keen to stress that there will be plenty of reflection to come in the next few days.

Here’s what he had to say in full after the game:

On a tough day at the office…

“Extremely disappointing. We worked hard all week. It’s been coming, I’ll be honest. It’s been coming. I think we’ve had a couple of spells in games where we’ve been OK, but more often than not, we haven’t been anywhere near our best.

“And today, from start to finish, we were miles off it. I need to look at it. I need to look at my decisions. I need to look at the team I’m picking. I need to look at the formation I’m picking, and why it’s not clicking at the moment. Yes, I’m asking players to look at themselves and develop their own performance, but ultimately the buck stops with me. I’ll certainly look at myself over the next 24 hours and see where I went wrong.”

On the performance…

“It’s the biggest defeat since I’ve been there. I think we’ve only had four goals scored against us once before since I’ve been here, but we scored in that game as well. Today, personally, that’s hurt me. I’ve got my own pride to think about as well, being the manager of this football club.”

“It’s hard for people to try and lift us because we were so far off it today.”

On the goals we conceded…

“All the goals are disappointing. The first two, central set pieces, we’ve had the ball both times, given it away, given free-kicks away and they’ve scored from set pieces.

“We talk about teams, especially Newtown, they’re very good. They’ve got people who use their body, their strength and their experience very well, and they’ve been better than us in all departments today from start to finish. There was a couple of decent performances in our team, but only a couple. Harri [John] has come on and done great again as a kid. His brother Dan has come on, and I’m pleased with what he did too. Jack and Kayden as well. But the game was already gone by the time the subs came on, unfortunately.

“Iori [Humphreys] we took off at half-time, it wasn’t a reflection on Iori, it was just that we needed to change things. We know we haven’t got an abundance of players available, but the ones who are fit have got to make me want to pick them for next Saturday. Like I said, I’ll dust myself down before I think about the team for next week. I’ll watch the game back and see where I went wrong today, because I have to look at myself.”

On using the defeat to kick us into gear…

“We got out of jail against Caernarfon, we got out of jail against Barry. I thought we were good last week at Colwyn Bay. It was our best performance of the season over 90 minutes. Like I said, we’ve had decent spells against the other teams, but today we just weren’t anywhere near ourselves.

“I’ll keep going back to myself as the manager. It’s down to me to see what I can do to make us better, because we need to get better and we need to get better quickly.”

On our long unbeaten home record ending…

“I said earlier, I know losing at home always disappoints me, but we’ve been fantastic at home. Even when we’ve been poor, we’ve got through games and the crowd has really got behind us, but nobody can get behind you with a performance like that. It’s hard for people to try and lift us because we were so far off it today. We’ll come back in on Tuesday, have a good week’s training and play against the best team in the league.”

On next week’s game…

“It doesn’t really matter whether it’s TNS or whoever else you’re playing. You have to perform and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against. If you perform like we did today, we’re going to lose more than we win, irrespective of who we’re playing against.

“That performance wasn’t nice to watch today, and every one of us needs to reflect on what we’ve done today and what we’ve done this week in training and see how we can address it for next Saturday.”