Welsh League, Division One

Haverfordwest County1

Taffs Well 4

THE Bluebirds’ promotion challenge ground to a halt after a game in which rivals Taffs Well were always quicker to the ball, writes Robert Nisbet.

Over the course of the first half the home side had maybe sixty per cent of the possession and the territory, but were rarely able to threaten Rob Bloor’s goal. The Wellmen by contrast produced two superb finishes, from Rico Zulkarnian in the 12th minute and from Marcus Jones in the 28th which gave them a 2-0 half-time lead. Later in the half Tim Hicks missed one good chance and Sam Rodon sent a good header just over the bar from a Chris O’Sullivan corner, but there was no denying the Taffs Well advantage.

The Blues went back to the challenge by starting the second half with two subs, Steffan Williams and Declan Carroll, but the early response which they might have hoped for didn’t happen and they were hit by a third visitors’ goal in the 49th minute when Tyrone Topper darted in from the right and hammered in.

The Blues did pull a goal back on the hour mark when Ricky Watts went on a run down the middle and shot against a post, for Williams to get in the midst of two defenders and force the ball home. Ben Steele then came on as sub to make the third attacker and was involved in maybe the Blues’ best move of the game in the 80th minute when he evaded two defenders out on the left and swung over a low cross which Sean Pemberton met with a crashing header which Bloor was just able to finger-tip away for a corner.

The final blow came in the 88th minute with Topper’s second good goal.

The programme sponsor on Saturday was Mr Clifford Power of Cardiff and the match ball sponsor was Mr Brian Daye of Bri’s Taxis, Haverfordwest. The hospitality suite was occupied by Mr Nathan Thomas of One Stop Property Developments, Merlins Bridge. Next Saturday is the Bluebirds’ final home game, against Penybont, starting at 2.30pm.

Haverfordwest County: Craig Morris, Ricky Watts, Antonio Facciuto (Ben Steele, 70), Sam Rodon, Dale Griffiths, Sean Pemberton, Chris O’Sullivan, Dylan Blain (Declan Carroll, 46), (Luke Borelli (Steffan Williams, 46), Tim Hicks, Richie Lewis.