Haverfordwest County recorded their first home victory of the season with a 3-0 success over 10-man Aberystwyth Town at the Ogi Bridge Meadow yesterday.
Rhys Abbruzzese’s goal, along with a brace from Kai Whitmore, gave the Bluebirds a comfortable victory over a Seasiders team that played the last half an hour with a man less, after Alex Darlington was shown a second yellow card.
Tony Pennock’s side were in control throughout the contest, with a strong defensive display earning them their second clean sheet of the season and providing the platform for some exciting, attacking football, particularly in the second half.
The result lifts the Town two places to eighth, and provides them with a much-needed confidence boost ahead of next Saturday’s visit to Pontypridd United, which will shown by the live Sgorio cameras.
Manager Pennock made one change to the side that drew with Cardiff Metropolitan on Tuesday, with Kayden Williams-Lowe coming in for Oscar Borg in defence. Aidan MacNamara was playing at the Ogi Bridge Meadow for the first time after making his debut against the Archers in the week, while fellow defender Lee Jenkins was making his 50th appearance in all competitions for County.
Haverfordwest County: Knott, Williams-Lowe (Dyer 74′), Tabone (H. John 45′), Jenkins, MacNamara (J. Owen 84′), Abbruzzese, Watts (C, Humphreys 84′), T. Owen, Whitmore, Hawkins, Wilson (D. John 84′)
Substitutes not used: Jones, Borg
The Bluebirds were on the front foot throughout the first half, and they created their first opening after six minutes when a quickly taken free-kick picked out Jack Wilson, who cut inside onto his left foot before unleashing a shot which was blocked by defender Louis Bradford.
10 minutes later, a lovely piece of interplay between Abbruzzese and Dan Hawkins gave the former space to shoot from the left side of the area, with his effort flying just wide of the right post.
With the half-hour mark approaching, Wilson had a second opportunity when a long pass upfield from Luke Tabone played him in, but he was dispossessed by a last-ditch challenge from Akeem Hinds. County kept the play alive, and Tyrese Owen shot just wide of the left post from outside the area.
The Town continued to push forward in search of the opening goal, and they came close again three minutes before the break when Hawkins’ free-kick from close to the byline was tipped over the bar by Dave Jones.
Pennock made an alteration at half-time, with Harri John coming on to replace Luke Tabone. The manager will have asked for a fast start once the action resumed, and he got just that when, shortly after Whitmore had shot wide from the edge of the area, Abbruzzese gave the Bluebirds the lead as Wilson’s cross into the area picked him out, and he directed the ball past Jones and into the right side of the net for his second goal of the season.
The hosts were dealt a boost five minutes later when Darlington, who had been booked in the first half, attempted to dispossess Ifan Knott but mistimed his challenge and caught the Bluebirds goalkeeper late, with referee Nick Pratt showing him a second yellow card.
County were keen to double their advantage as soon as possible to create some breathing space, and they came close to doing so shortly after the hour mark when Tyrese Owen’s cross picked out Abbruzzese who saw his effort saved by Jones, before Hawkins fired into the side netting on the rebound.
It mattered not though as, with 20 minutes of normal time remaining, Whitmore made it 2-0 with a fantastic effort from range which flew into the top right corner, leaving Jones with no chance.
The midfielder then made it 3-0 four minutes later with an excellent solo effort which saw him break into the area before creating space to shoot and finding the left-hand corner to put the result beyond any doubt.
Rio Dyer was introduced from the bench just after the goal, as he came on for his home debut in the league.
The Bluebirds’ tails were firmly up at this point as they continued to attack, and Jenkins came close to scoring against his former team for a second time when his effort from inside the area rolled just wide of the left post.
Pennock made a triple change in the closing stages, with Jacob Owen coming on for his senior debut for the Bluebirds, with Dan John and Iori Humphreys joining him for the closing stages.
John, who joined brother Harri on the field, had a good chance to score his first senior goal when he broke into the area before unleashing an effort which was saved at the near post.
This proved to be the final opportunity of note for the Town, who were left very satisfied by their afternoon’s work in what were tricky conditions at a wet Ogi Bridge Meadow.