Welsh League Division One:
Haverfordwest County 1
Risca United 0
HAVERFORDWEST County gained their expected win over Risca United but for much of this disjointed tussle at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium it was difficult to see which side was third in the section table and which was holding up the rest.
The Bluebirds enjoyed a bright start where they had three chances in the first five minutes and took the lead as Steff Davies fired home from a lovely through ball by Ashley Bevan but from then on they seemed unable to string any passes together, lost their composure until manager Chris O’Sullivan came on in the last quarter and seemed unable to find the target when chances did come!
Yet they looked likely to do well from the outset as Steff Williams had an overhead kick saved by Ben Fletcher and then had a clear cut chance blocked by the keeper when he should have scored.
But then Steff Davies fired a low shot past Fletcher as reward for a neat build up that started with good work at the back by Kristian Speake and skipper Sean Pemberton before Gregg Walters and then Bevan played a part.
But for the rest of the half there were so many balls launched in the air that The Bluebirds rarely found any cohesion, although Matthew Broome and Jamie Evans did cover well at the back when Risca played the ball forward.
Bevan did go close to doubling the lead after a typically powerful surge but shot wide and Risca showed real grit as they disrupted the home midfield, and piled into tackles that ultimately saw them have five yellow cards, with Haverfordwest’s experienced midfielder Nicky Palmer joining them as he allowed his frustration to get the better of him after the break.
Risca showed their positive side as Jordan Needs and Daniel Battles started to feature in midfield and front man Brad Baker had three clear-cut chances, one of which forced James Gwilt to make a terrific save.
Ashley Bevan went very close with a left-footer thunderbolt which rattled the crossbar at the start of the second half and Walters fired wide after a typical run as The Bluebirds desperately sought a second score.
But it didn't come and there was a hint of a chance for Risca when skipper Joshua Clayton put Baker through but he fired over the bar.
The Bluebirds brought on Rhys Dalling, Lee Hudgell and O’Sullivan to try and gain momentum and although all three featured well there were no further goals for the Bluebirds – and there were a couple of errors as Gwilt miskicked an attempted clearance but fortunately sub Assal Yafai fired over the bar for Risca.
Haverfordwest County: James Gwilt, Matthew Broome, Sean Pemberton (captain), Jamie Evans, Kristian Speake, Ashley Bevan, Nicky Palmer, Gregg Walters, Kieran O’Brien, Steffen Davies, Steffan Williams.
Subs: Rhys Dalling, Lee Hudgell, Chris O’Sullivan, Spencer Williams.