Manager Tony Pennock was delighted with the overall performance of his Haverfordwest County players in the vitally important 1-0 victory away at Caernarfon Town on Saturday.
Rio Dyer’s second-half goal earned a deserved three points for the Bluebirds on their travels, as County kept their top six ambitions alive with four games left to play in Phase One of the 2023-24 Cymru Premier season.
Pennock’s team were the better side for the majority of the contest and, on a different day, could have won the game by a wider margin, but were nevertheless delighted with the win to keep their good recent run of form going.
Here’s what the manager had to say in full after the game:
On the performance
“Do you know what, you come off the pitch today with that performance and, irrespective of the result, you know the boys have done everything they can and performed really well. In the first half we started so brightly, we should have been two or three up early on, but we didn’t take our chances and then we knew at half time that playing against the wind was going to be tough, and that Caernarfon would have a lot of the ball, but I thought we looked after the ball really well second half and created a few chances ourselves – and I thought Rio’s finish was fantastic.”
On the impressive start
“Obviously the conditions were in our favour in the first half, and we knew we had to put Caernarfon under pressure, which we did, but we just didn’t get that goal. They were good chances as well, the boys were working hard to create chances, unfortunately we just didn’t take them, but luckily Rio took the one he did. Overall, it was a fantastic team performance.”
On momentum continuing to build
“I know we went out of the cup last week, but in 90 minutes we drew the game. We’re in a position now where we’re not losing games of football, we’re staying in games and, hopefully, when we take our chances then we’ll come away comfortable winners.
“But if you look at Colwyn Bay, Connah’s Quay and Caernarfon away from home, we’ve won all three of them this season which is a fantastic achievement. In Phase One last season we only won two games away from home, this year we’ve won three now, and drawn three, so that’s six out of ten unbeaten. The points we’ve had away from home shows the progress the boys are making and how much they’re learning, and long may that continue.”
On the remainder of Phase One
“We can say it’s in our hands. We’ve got four tough games left, the rest have got three games left. We have to make our three home games count. We’ve got three home games out of four. At home, of course, we’ve been really good the last few months and we have to maintain that now and, like I say, one game at a time and see where that takes us.
“That’s 24 points so far this season, we had 27 last year in Phase One, so we’re three behind with four games to play. It shows the progress we’ve made again.”
On the timely return of Jazz Richards
“I just said said it to the TV cameras: Jazz, Dylan, Scotch and Patts haven’t played all season, and all of those guys have massive experience and are a massive part of our team, of our squad, and not having them around the place is tough, especially for the younger boys to learn off them and listen to them.
“Jazz trained this week. He put himself forward to be involved. I turned to him to come on when Willy was struggling a bit, and Jazz couldn’t wait to get on the pitch. We look after Jazz as best we can and hopefully we will get far more minutes out of him now for the rest of the season. That’s what we hope to do.”
On the fantastic away support
“They did make some noise behind that goal, and we’ve given them a good trip to have on the way home now, which is always nice when you travel some distance.”
On next Saturday’s meeting with the leaders
“I don’t like the term free hit. It’s a game of football. It’s three points, and that’s all we’ll be trying to do. We’re at home, playing against the best team in the league, and it’s an opportunity. We want to play against the best teams we can week in week out, and next Saturday is an opportunity for us at home to try and pick up more points in our aim to try and finish as high up the table as we possibly can, and that won’t change next Saturday.”