First Team
Cymru Premier Fri 9 February Ogi Bridge Meadow Stadium
Haverfordwest County
  • Fawcett (34')
Pontypridd United
  • Ahmun (41')

Haverfordwest County were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Pontypridd United at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Friday night.

Ben Fawcett’s well-taken goal had given the Bluebirds the lead 11 minutes before half time, with the Dragons having lost defender Luke Cummings to a straight red card on the half-hour mark.

However, striker Ben Ahmun capitalised on a mix up at the back to level the scores shortly before the interval.

The second half was, as expected, one-way traffic as County tried to make the most of their numerical superiority and find a second goal. Much to their frustration, though, clear-cut chances were hard to come by and the Bluebirds were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

The result sees the Town climb up one place to seventh, with previous occupants Penybont set to take on Barry Town United tomorrow afternoon.

© RawPhotography
Team news

Manager Tony Pennock made one change to the starting XI, with Jack Wilson coming in for Luke Tabone. On the bench, there was a welcome return for Rio Dyer, who was back in the squad for the first time since the game against The New Saints on December 23.

Haverfordwest County: Jones, Watts (C, J. Owen 72′), Jazz, Jenkins, Abbruzzese, Wilson (John 84′), Whitmore, Shephard, Hawkins, Fawcett, Taylor-Crossdale (Dyer 62′)

Substitutes not used: Knott, MacNamara, Humphreys, Tabone

First half

It was the Bluebirds who started on the front foot, and they had the first effort on goal when Rhys Abbruzzese’s free-kick from 25 yards flew narrowly over the crossbar.

After quarter of an hour County worked the ball out to Wilson on the right side of the area, with his shot going just wide of the near post.

Pennock’s men were asking more questions in the first half, and they could have taken the lead just before the half-hour mark when captain Ricky Watts put an enticing ball across the face of goal which somehow managed to evade everyone in the area and roll away to safety.

© RawPhotography

Just a minute later, the visitors were reduced to 10 men when referee Bryn Markham-Jones brandished a straight red card to Cummings after the defender had put in a strong challenge on Kai Whitmore in midfield.

This appeared to give the Town a boost, and four minutes later they were ahead when a perfectly weighted through ball from Martell Taylor-Crossdale played strike partner Fawcett in, and he coolly slotted the ball past George Ratcliffe and into the right-hand corner to make it 1-0.

Having landed the first blow, the Bluebirds will have been keen to kick on and make the most of their advantage, however the Dragons were able to find an equaliser when a heavy touch from Zac Jones saw the ball fall into the path of Ahmun, whose shot from inside the area found the net to draw his team level.

Second half

There was no doubt about how the second period was going to look, with the Bluebirds seeing the majority of the ball and pushing hard to take the lead for a second time and Pontypridd doing everything they could to stay in the contest.

The first opportunity after the restart fell to goalscorer Fawcett as his effort from just outside the area was palmed away by Ratcliffe. Shortly after, Abbruzzese’s shot from distance was gathered low down by the Dragons stopper.

Pennock turned to his bench for the first time two minutes after the hour mark when Dyer came on to replace Taylor-Crossdale.

The visitors currently have the joint-third best defence in the JD Cymru Premier, and they were showing just why as, despite playing with a man less, they were doing enough to keep County at bay during a frustrating second half.

© RawPhotography

Two further efforts on goal came from Dan Hawkins and Fawcett, with a header at the near post and an effort from outside the area both saved by Ratcliffe.

Arguably the best opportunity of the second period fell the way of Kai Whitmore who, with two minutes of normal time remaining, caught his volley 25 yards from goal well, but Ratcliffe was able to get across and push the ball to safety.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added on, but the Bluebirds were unable to find a winner and therefore had to settle for a share of the spoils in front of a healthy crowd of 512 at the Ogi Bridge Meadow – which was the highest of the round in the JD Cymru Premier.