Manager Tony Pennock was again left frustrated by lapses in concentration from his Haverfordwest County team, as the Bluebirds were beaten 3-1 by high-flying Connah’s Quay Nomads on Saturday.
County were very much in the contest for large periods, and were undoubtedly the better side in the first half. However, a combination of failing to take our chances and conceding a couple of soft goals meant it was another tough afternoon for the Town.
The result sees the Bluebirds drop into the bottom two ahead of what is a big week for the club as we prepare to face Cardiff Metropolitan on Tuesday and Aberystwyth Town on Saturday.
Here’s what he had to say in full after the game:
On a valiant display which wasn’t quite enough…
“I thought the boys put a decent performance in today in periods. I thought we were in the game. Obviously we’ve had chances in the first half, and then a little lapse of concentration costs. In patches, the boys have worked hard, but at one-nil we get a red card and it was always going to be uphill from then on.”
On a sucker punch at the end of the first half…
“We changed the shape, went to a back four today. Connah’s Quay are a very good side. We know that. When you get opportunities, we need to take one. We’re not taking the first one. We get other teams scoring the first goal, and when you do that we’re giving ourselves a mountain to climb and, all in all, we’re just costing ourselves games at the moment and it’s something we need to get out of and get over quickly.”
On Ifan making his Cymru Premier debut and the team needing consistency…
“Ifan’s done well. Zac has been carrying an injury for a number of weeks now, so I think he needed a rest today. His ankle hasn’t been great, and that’s been affecting him. But saying that, there’s a number of other players who are lucky to start today. We can go on about our injuries, but people need to start giving us performances week in, week out, and we need to find a level of consistency – we’re not quite doing that. We just want to do the basics well, and at times we did that today.
“In patches, especially first half, I thought we passed the ball, and we held the ball up well up front. We got up the pitch, and we had opportunities. It was just a disappointing goal to concede just before half time. Then the second half, it’s tough then. It’s a ridiculous red card. I’ve got no complaints about the red card, but it just gives the rest of the team a mountain to climb against a very good side.”
On finishing the game with a positive…
“I thought we battled well, down to 10 men, the boys worked hard. It was always going to be hard because Connah’s Quay have obviously got the man advantage, and they keep the ball really well. We stayed in the game. At 1-0, you’ve still got a chance, but we concede from a corner again, and then the third goal is a fantastic finish; we’re caught in possession in the middle of the pitch, and the lad has got the vision to see that and score a great goal.
“But all credit to the lads, a great bit of play for us to get our goal. Jack deserves that. Jack’s been doing well for us, and at least we’ve come away with a positive, but we know this week is massive for the club now. We’ve got two big games this week, and we need to all stand up and be counted.”
On the main challenge ahead…
“Our challenge is being consistent and lasting more than 40 minutes, and playing better over 90, 95, 100 minutes, that’s what we need to do. We’ve probably had 45-minute patches here and there throughout the season so far, the one game that we were poor and weren’t at our best was Newtown at home. The rest of the games we’ve had good spells in, but we need to find longer good spells and little bits here and there.
“We know how tough Cardiff Met away is. They’re a very good side. Lots of energy, some good players in their team, and we know it’s going to be tough on Tuesday night.
“We have to find a way out of the bottom two now. We dropped into the bottom two last year in November, and we’re in the bottom two now in September, so we need to stand up, be counted and earn our money.”