League leaders lose out at home

2:02pm Tuesday 21st January 2014

Haverfordwest County 1

Cambrian & Clydach 2

CAMBRIAN always had a slight edge in a hard-fought game in which a late goal by Sam Rodon was not enough to pull back the two-goal lead which the visitors had grafted out with some crisp attacking, writes Robert Nisbet.

The match was one of the very few to survive the weather but the Conygar Bridge Meadow, though inevitably a little greasy, was in very good nick. But for most of the first half neither side was able to mount many decisive attacks. Luke Borelli got past ex-Bluebird Terry Evans in a jinking run down the left, but his cross was smothered, while Steffan Williams was right through once, on to a Tim Hicks ball, but was flagged offside, one of three offside decisions to go against him in the first half.

At the other end a feature of the game was the fine duel between Cambrian’s lively winger Callum Holden and Blues’ left back Tony Facciuto. Facciuto mercifully got the better of the tussle apart from one moment, after 20 minutes, when Holden had a clear shot at goal, only to shoot straight at Chris Curtis.

Although Cambrian maintained the edge in the second half, there was still the feeling that the game could swing either way and the Bluebirds might well have gone ahead in the 67th minute, when Hicks ran through on to Williams pass, took on the keeper and the defender who was bearing in by his left shoulder and fired his shot just an inch or so past the keeper’s right hand post. The Blues managed a few Williams runs and a couple of shots from Declan Carroll, but at the other end Rodon had to pull off one very fine clearing header as Cambrian pressed forward.

Then, in the 71st and 78th minutes, the Rhondda side pinched the two goals that were to give them the win. The first was a slightly scrappy affair, as Joe Mahoney stabbed in from close range, the second a classic finish as Kieron Lewis nipped into space 20 yards out and cracked a low drive past Curtis.

They might have added a third a few minutes later, when Joshua Ryall’s free kick whistled across the face of the goal but the last ten minutes saw the Blues pushing forward. They won a series of free kicks around the Cambrian area and from one of them Rodon was able to head in from Chris O’Sullivan’s ball.

As the season reaches the halfway point the Bluebirds, even after that defeat, lie in top spot, just a point now ahead of second-placed Taff’s Well. This Saturday they travel to play West End.

The programme sponsors for Saturday’s game were SA Marketing of Haverfordwest and the ball sponsors were LBS Builders Merchants of Pembroke Dock.

Haverfordwest County: Chris Curtis; Ricky Watts; Antonio Facciuto (Joey Leahy, 78); Sam Rodon; Dale Griffiths; Sean Pemberton (Dylan Blain, 63); Chris O’Sullivan; Luke Borelli; Steffan Williams; Tim Hicks; Matthew Fisher (Declan Carroll, 55).

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