Delaney’s Boys make a great start at Garden Village

Pembrokeshire League


Pembrokeshire League
Goal scorers Adam John, Jordan Griffiths and Justin Harding
The Pembrokeshire League dug out
Match officials


SB Williams Inter League Cup:


Swansea Senior League 1 - Pembrokeshire League 3


Venue: Garden Village AFC.

Referee: Teifion Cook.

Assistants: Martin Oliver and Tim Bateman. Fourth Official: Ryan Kenny.


The Pembrokeshire League squad got its SB Williams’ Cup campaign for this season off to a winning start under the floodlights at Garden Village with a convincing win over the Swansea League which bodes well for forthcoming home matches against the same opposition and the Carmarthenshire League in the next few weeks, both to be played at The Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium.

For their debut at the helm, team manager Nigel Delaney and coach Chris O’Sullivan had selected an experienced squad who put in a full warm up for an hour prior to the start as evidence of their commitment – and there was a cohesiveness about their play which the Swansea League lacked.

Pembs soon on top

Goal scorers Adam John, Jordan Griffiths and Justin HardingIn an entertaining tussle where both sides looked to play attacking football, Pembrokeshire were on top from the outset as their experienced team took control of the midfield via Luke Hayward, Iwan Izzard and Adam Hawkins, who all worked tirelessly, whilst the back four of Peter Thomas, Scott Delaney, Wayne O’Sullivan and Llyr Tobin provided a solid wall for keeper James Gwilt as he continually exhorted advice.

The only time that they came under real pressure came in the middle of the second half, where they were 2-0 ahead and might have doubled that scoreline before Swansea were awarded a penalty that Steve Berry scored despite Gwilt almost managing to keep it out – but they gradually resettled and added a third goal to set the seal on success.

Griffiths and Harding strike superbly

Justin Harding, Jordan Griffiths and skipper Joe Leahy were soon testing the home defence and Leahy sounded an early warning for Swansea as he flashed in a low cross that flew across the six-yard box but no-one could gain the vital touch – but after 11 minutes Pembrokeshire opened the scoring as Llyr Tobin launched a left-flank free kick into the danger zone and Goodwick team mate Griffiths glanced a perfect near-post header past stranded keeper Nick Lewis.

Sadly, Tobin had to leave the field suffering from asthma but Mark Jones proved a really capable deputy as he covered well and provided passes that helped set up attacks – and from one of them Pembrokeshire were awarded a free kick just outside the Swansea area and ‘Skinny’ Harding unleashed a superbly struck drive that flew into the top corner with Lewis rooted to his spot.

The Pembrokeshire League dug outSwansea serve notice they weren’t finished

Harding might have added another goal from a mis-hit Swansea clearance but was caught unawares and shanked his shot – and Lewis was almost beaten again, this time by a colleague who completely misdirected a back pass which was scrambled of his line by a perplexed keeper.

But Swansea showed that they could pose a threat if they were given a half chance as Chris Fisher sped down the right flank and Gwilt had to scramble to smother his low cross-drive at the second attempt.

Elliott Smith also showed good close skills as he threatened near goal but Gwilt and Delaney did well to marshall him wide so that his final dink went into the side netting.

Set-back for county hopes

Matty Delaney replaced Leahy, who was suffering from a slight groin strain, and almost opened the second half with a bang as his powerful shot hit replacement keeper Damian Davies in the face as he misjudged its flight.

Harding also hooked a volley wide but perhaps Pembrokeshire took their collective feet off the gas and when referee Kieran Cook, who had a good game, spotted a rash tackle in the box up stepped Steve Berry to beat a disappointed Gwilt.

It was the start of a nervous spell for Pembrokeshire because they were unable to keep hold of the ball and spent some time pinned in their own half – but with Lee Hudgell and Adam John bringing fresh legs to the game they gradually restored their balance as Adam Hawkins’ ability to put pressure on attackers caught the eye.

Hawkins sets up county’s winner

Match officialsIt was Hawkins who finally helped put the result beyond doubt as he drove down the right flank after combining well with Izzard, and after his drilled cross evaded a first-time strike by Harding it found Adam John, whose well-hit shot already looked goal bound before a defensive deflection saw it fly into the far corner.

It nicely rounded off a good night for the entire Pembrokeshire squad, which also included Ian Baker as administrator and Chris Ormond (Merlins Bridge) as a keen helper since injury prevented his being considered for the game.

Swansea League: Nick Lewis (Rockspur): Bradley Cooze (Ynystawe); Jordan Lloyd Evans (Malsters Sports); Rhys Dezulian (Sandfields); Richard Evans (Ynystawe); Luke Harvey (Kilvey); Chris Fisher (Ynystawe); Steven Berry (Sandfields); Kieran Cullen (West End Rangers); Elliott Smith (Cwmfelin Press); Ieuan Pridie (South Gower). Substitutes: Damian Davies (Ynystawe); Kristian Keefe (Rockspur); Damian Williams (Rockspur); Callum Rees (Treboeth United).

Pembrokeshire League: James Gwilt (Letterston): Peter Thomas (Merlins Bridge); Wayne O’Sullivan (Goodwick United); Scott Delaney (Goodwick United); Llyr Tobin (Goodwick United): Adam Hawkins (Merlins Bridge); Iwan Izzard (Carew); Luke Hayward (Johnston); Jordan Griffiths (Goodwick United): Joe Leahy (Merlins Bridge - Captain); Justin Harding (Hakin United). Substitutes: Mark Jones (Hakin United – for Tobin); Matty Delaney (Goodwick United - for Leahy); Lee Hudgell (Goodwick United – for O’Sullivan); Adam John (Hakin United – for Griffiths).