First Team
Cymru Premier Sat 2 March Four Crosses Construction Arena
Colwyn Bay
Haverfordwest County

Haverfordwest County made it three games unbeaten in Phase Two of the 2023-24 JD Cymru Premier season with a goalless draw away to Colwyn Bay on Saturday.

In a game where both sides found it tough to create clear-cut openings, a share of the spoils was probably a fair result, with the Seagulls having more of the play in the first half before the Bluebirds imposed themselves more effectively after the break.

Tony Pennock’s men had the ball in the back of the net midway through the second half, but the goal was ruled out due to an offside in the build-up.

County were victorious on their previous visit to the Four Crosses Construction Arena, but conditions were much more challenging this time around and stifled two teams who showed a willingness to keep the ball on the ground.

Having penned a new one-year contract earlier in the week, goalkeeper Zac Jones produced an impressive display, particularly in the first half, when he produced a number of saves to keep the hosts at bay.

The result sees the Town remain seventh and top of the Playoff Conference, with Penybont’s defeat at home to Pontypridd United later in the day meaning we now hold a four-point advantage ahead of a mouthwatering encounter with the Bridgend outfit at the Ogi Bridge Meadow next Friday.

(Photo: Damon Mead)
Team news

Manager Tony Pennock made two changes to the side which drew 1-1 away at Barry Town United last Friday, with Aidan MacNamara and Rio Dyer coming in for Ricky Watts and Dan Hawkins. Jazz Richards took the captain’s armband for the afternoon.

Haverfordwest County: Jones, Wilson (Hawkins 39′), Jazz (C), Jenkins, Tabone, Abbruzzese, MacNamara (Watts 46′), Shephard, Whitmore (J. Owen 88′), Dyer (Taylor-Crossdale 64′), Fawcett

Substitutes not used: Knott, Humphreys, Borg

First half

It was the hosts who had the first effort on goal after six minutes when Matthew Hill’s left-footed effort from inside the area was saved low down by Jones.

The Bluebirds keeper was called into action for a second time just over 10 minutes later when he did well to get across and turn Hill’s effort from just outside the area behind.

Midway through the first half, with Pennock’s men still feeling their way into the contest, Kai Whitmore managed to break into the area before opening up onto his right foot and attempting a shot which was blocked on its path to goal.

(Photo: Damon Mead)

With County yet to click into their attacking groove, they were content to stay in the fight and keep the Seagulls at bay, and they largely had Jones to thank as he produced two sharp saves in quick succession to thwart Udoyen Akpan and Dan Atkins from close range.

The Town were forced into making their first change of the afternoon five minutes before the interval as Dan Hawkins came on to replace Jack Wilson, who was unable to continue.

Second half

Pennock had to turn to his bench for a second time during the break with MacNamara feeling unwell and needing to be replaced, as Watts came on in his place.

The Bluebirds created the first opening of the second half shortly after the restart, as Rhys Abbruzzese’s free-kick was glanced goalwards by Lee Jenkins, but home keeper Reece Trueman was able to gather the ball just before Ben Fawcett could pounce from close range.

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Akpan then tried his luck from distance as he looked to add to his goal tally for the Seagulls, but his effort flew narrowly wide of the left post.

On the hour mark striker Jamie Cumming caught his volley well from just outside the area, but saw the ball fly just wide of the right post.

Martell Taylor-Crossdale was introduced from the bench with 25 minutes of normal time remaining, and he was involved straight away as he hooked the ball goalwards following a scramble inside the area, but he couldn’t quite get enough power on the effort to trouble Trueman.

(Photo: Damon Mead)

Then, just a minute later, it appeared that the Bluebirds had taken the lead when Hawkins’ free-kick into the area was headed back across goal by Luke Tabone and diverted in from a few yards out by Whitmore, but the linesman’s flag went up on the far side as Taylor-Crossdale was adjudged to be in an offside position and interfering with play.

Although both teams were keen to try and find a winner for different reasons, chances were at a premium in the closing stages with the attacking play in the final third lacking the quality needed.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Whitmore did well to slip the net and advance to the byline before putting a ball across goal which was pushed behind by Trueman.

While there were a couple of potential opportunities for promising moments to develop in the final stages, none of them came to fruition and both teams were forced to settle for a point apiece.