First Team
Cymru Premier Sat 13 April Ogi Bridge Meadow Stadium
Haverfordwest County
  • Abbruzzese (8')
  • Jenkins (10')
  • Fawcett (73')
Colwyn Bay
  • McCready (90+4')

Haverfordwest County made it four consecutive victories in the JD Cymru Premier Playoff Conference with a 3-1 success against Colwyn Bay at the Ogi Bridge Meadow on Saturday.

The game, which was played in front of the live Sgorio cameras, saw the Bluebirds 2-0 to the good after only 10 minutes as Rhys Abbruzzese’s perfectly placed free-kick from 20 yards made it 1-0, before the wing-back’s free-kick from the half way line was glanced in by Lee Jenkins.

Ben Fawcett put the result beyond doubt with just under 20 minutes remaining, before Seagulls captain Tom McCready netted a consolation goal with the last kick of the game.

The result means County maintain their three-point lead at the top of the Playoff Conference, after nearest rivals Penybont won 3-0 at Pontypridd United later in the day to set up a mouthwatering final-day clash at the SDM Glass Stadium where the winner will clinch the fourth and final spot in the end-of-season European playoffs.

© RawPhotography
Team news

Manager Tony Pennock made two changes to the side that beat Barry Town United, as Ricky Watts returned from suspension to be joined in the midfield by Declan Carroll, who made his first start since returning to the club in January. Having signed for the club a day prior, Ioan Evans was included on the bench, where he was joined by four Academy products in Lucas Davies, Harri John, Callum Shirt and Fletcher Picton. Martell Taylor-Crossdale served a one-game suspension after receiving his fifth booking of the season in the win over the Dragons.

Haverfordwest County: Jones, Humphreys (J. Owen 79′), Jenkins, Tabone, Borg, Abbruzzese, Watts (C), Carroll (Evans 57′), Whitmore, Dyer (John 74′), Fawcett (Picton 79′)

Substitutes not used: Knott, Davies, Shirt

First half

The Bluebirds made a bright start, and created their first opening after five minutes when some good interplay freed Rio Dyer and allowed him to break into the area, before his cross was diverted just wide of the left post.

County were ahead just three minutes later after Sam Hart’s foul on Carroll gave Abbruzzese a set-piece opportunity from just outside the area, and he duly obliged by curling his left-footed effort around the wall and into the top left-hand corner to make it 1-0.

The visitors barely had the chance to reset before they found themselves 2-0 down as Abbruzzese sent a fizzing free-kick into the area which was skimmed off the head of Jenkins and flew into the bottom right-hand corner, giving goalkeeper Reece Trueman no chance of saving it and the Town a dream start.

© RawPhotography

This early cushion gave County something to defend, and the remainder of the first half was relatively low key as Pennock’s side allowed Colwyn Bay to have the lions share of possession whilst looking strong in defence and snuffing out any dangerous moments.

Seagulls striker Jamie Cumming had a rare shot on goal with the half-hour mark approaching when his effort from just outside the area went wide of the left post.

Second half

The Bluebirds came out for the second half in a similar vein to how they had started the contest, with Kai Whitmore going close four minutes after the restart when he jinked and weaved his way into the area in trademark fashion before flashing his effort across the face of goal.

Four minutes later Haverfordwest County regained possession in midfield and broke up the pitch before Whitmore’s through ball played Fawcett in, however the striker’s effort went wide of the right post.

County were limiting the visitors to very little in the way of clear-cut opportunities, however Zac Jones did have to be alert with the hour mark approaching when striker Udi Akpan sent a powerful first-time volley on goal, which was tipped over the crossbar by the Kiwi.

© RawPhotography

Evans was introduced shortly after for his first minutes since rejoining the club, as he came on to replace Carroll.

Pennock’s side were managing the game professionally as the closing stages drew nearer, with the defence keeping the Seagulls at Bay, and with 17 minutes left on the clock the 523-strong crowd in attendance were able to celebrate a third goal when Trueman’s misdirected clearance landed at the feet of Fawcett, who took a touch before curling into the net from the edge of the area for 3-0.

Shortly after the fourth official had signalled three minutes of added time, Evans had an opportunity to get in on the act when Whitmore’s pass picked him out unmarked inside the area, but his goalbound effort was blocked.

Jones was then forced into a save as he got down well to push substitute Tom Creamer’s header behind, before McCready’s effort from 20 yards found the net to give the Seagull something to cheer about, as the Bluebirds collected another three points to ensure they head into next Sunday’s crunch meeting with Penybont with plenty of momentum behind them.

Attendance: 523