Bluebirds brave the elements to move into round four

Tom Dyson works hard under pressure

Tom Dyson works hard under pressure

Lee Trundle added the Bluebirds' second
Ben Fawcett scored a cracking first goal


Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Cup – Third Round:


 Haverfordwest County 3 - Llantwit Major 1

Haverfordwest County marched into the fourth round of the Welsh League Cup as they were deserved winners against Llantwit Major at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium; playing quality football to defy the abject weather conditions where the rain poured and the wind howled.

The Bluebirds made the brighter start in such challenging conditions as they used the midfield dynamism of Elliott Scotcher, Ricky Watts and Tom Dyson to build a platform where young full backs Alaric Jones and Leon Luby were eager to set up attacks from wide out positions.

Dyson set up the first chance for Haverfordwest after a neat one-two with Watts and a slide-rule pass which resulted in Scotcher’s low drive being smothered by Llantwit keeper Jack Lansdown.

Keeper Kyle saves well in rare Llantwit attack

For 12 minutes the visitors found themselves chasing shadows but as so often happens in such matches, a slight lapse in concentration almost brought about a Llantwit goal as Lewis Brown threaded a lovely through ball for Kristian Smith but the big striker’s low drive was well saved by home custodian Kyle Stuart from only his second touch of the ball.

It raised Llantwit hopes bur Haverfordwest central defenders Tim Hicks and skipper Sean Pemberton exerted a tweezer grip om Smith and Josh Jones for the remainder of the half.

Trademark class from Fawcett and Trundle

Lee Trundle added the Bluebirds
But The Bluebirds managed to raise the tempo as Luby created space on the right in the 23rd minute by beating two defenders and sliding the ball through to Trundle, whose trademark flick released Ben Fawcett for the teenage striker to leave Lansdown standing with a superb right foot drive that flew past the keeper’s despairing left hand.

Haverfordwest deservedly added a second after 32 minutes when Watts’ powerfully won an aerial battle near half way and Trundle outpaced a square back four to race into the box, make Lansdown commit himself before a little shimmy to his right allowed the veteran striker to slide the ball into an unprotected net.

The busy Scotcher then set up another half chance for Trundle, who fired over the bar and Fawcett also might have added his second as he twisted and turned in a goalmouth melee but put his shot over the top. It might have been 3-0 at half time as Scotcher and Trundle combined to create space on the left but Dyson’s shot was well-saved by Lansdown.

Bluebirds’ positive start after the interval – but visitors bounce back

Haverfordwest also made a positive start after the interval but had to reshuffle at the back as Pemberton departed in the 62nd minute, replaced by Jack Wilson as Ricky Watts showed his ability to play anywhere by switching back to the heart of the defence and doing a great job as Wilson pushed into the left side of midfield.

Llantwit used the wind advantage to twice hit the bar from a single attack as a drilled cross flew off a defender’s head onto the woodwork – and from the ensuing corner by Lewis Brown the ball again hit the top of the bar and was cleared.

But the visitors’ efforts were rewarded after 67 minutes when a defensive error saw Smith take on Kyle Stuart, who did well to block the big striker’s first attempt but couldn’t recover in time as Smith slid the rebound home.

Bevan exerts a big late influence

Home manager Wayne Jones brought on Ashley Bevans after 77 minutes and the midfielder exerted an immediate effect on play as a clever back heel gave Dyson a chance which he fired over the bar and then sent a lovely diagonal ball to Danny Williams but the club’s current top scorer had his shot blocked by Lansdown’s trailing leg.

Bevan then showed his team mates how to finish as he combined with Trundle and placed his shot into the net from an acute angle, the third quality Bluebirds’ finish of the match!

They had two more late chances as Williams again went close and Wilson’s late effort was tipped around the woodwork by Lansdown before the final whistle by referee Alan Jenkins sent them into the next round.

Wayne Jones (Haverfordwest County Manager): “I was pleased with the result because the boys are now adapting to our philosophy of ball retention through crisp passing, allied to the entire squad looking to use the full pitch to send wide players into attacking positions. We also want to see solid defence and the reduction of chances for the opposition, as we did best in the first half before the rain inevitably took a toll.”

David Hughes (Bluebirds’ Chairman): “I think we deserved our win because we had far more chances and the final score does flatter Llantwit Major somewhat, although they deserve praise for never giving up. We needed this confidence boost after our heavy midweek defeat at Cardiff Met – and we now face Swansea University, again at home, next Saturday in the second round of the JD Welsh Cup.”

Haverfordwest County: Kyle Stuart: Leon Luby; Tim Hicks; Sean Pemberton; Alaric Jones: Tom Dyson; Elliott Scotcher; Ricky Watts: Danny Williams; Ben Fawcett; lee Trundle. Subs: Ashley Bevan; Jack Wilson; Elliott Thomas; Steve Hall.

Llantwit Major: Jack Lansdown: Jonathan Fletcher; Sean Williams; Kristian Evans; Kyran Gardner: Lewis Brown; Jonathan Butler; Morgan Gore; Josh Morgan: Kristian Smith; Josh Jones. Subs: Robert Jones; Ben Cripps; Glyn Davies; Anthony Rawlings; Ben McCrum.

Referee: Alan Jenkins (who had a good game).

Assistant Referees: Tom Bateman; David Badger

Ben Fawcett scored a cracking first goal