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Sheehan sinks Bluebirds

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Carmarthen Town 1

Haverfordwest County 0

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.33.25CARMARTHEN secured a narrow, but vital, victory over old rivals Haverfordwest in this typically keenly-contested local derby thanks to a sparkling late goal from Dan Sheehan that stood out in stark contrast to the rest of this generally uninspiring affair.

The home side made a positive start to the match, putting the visitors’ defence under immediate pressure with a series of swift attacks – but sadly there was little evidence of any serious goal threat emerging as all too often the ‘final pass’ lacked direction and penetration.

It was not until the seventh minute that the first notable scoring chance arose when Dwaine Bailey’s long ball into the penalty area found Mark Jones who instantly rolled it back to Ceri Morgan and he struck a fierce 25 yard volley that drew a smart response from ‘keeper Craig Morris.

The Old Gold continued to hold the early initiative and on 22 minutes they were awarded a penalty when Morgan was brought down as he burst into the area. Jones, no doubt confident having scored twice from the spot only a few games ago, stepped forward but fired the ball narrowly over the bar.

Then moments later, following a Kyle Bassett corner-kick, the ball reached Lewis Harling who played it neatly back to Kieran Lewis and he dispatched a stunning 30 yard drive that Morris resisted with an excellent flying save.

While Town maintained their ascendancy with a display of impressive energy and commitment, gradually County began to enjoy more possession and pose an occasional threat going forward. But initially they were unable to pierce the Carmarthen defence, in which the central pairing of Bailey and Dave Vincent along with Sheehan and Jordan Knott on the flanks remained composed and resilient under pressure, and ‘keeper Lee Idzi was never seriously tested.

However, after 31 minutes the visitors went close to taking the lead when Ricky Watts finished a strong run down the right touchline with a low cross into the goalmouth that was met by Declan Carroll at the far post but from close range he stabbed the ball just wide of the target.

Apart from a couple of goalmouth scrambles that created an element of panic amongst the home defence this fairly unmemorable first-half petered out to a welcome close. After the interval little changed in terms of the quality and excitement on offer although it soon became clear that the ‘competitive’ nature of the game was escalating – an early flurry of yellow cards was testimony to that.

Haverfordwest did at last manage a shot on target in the 75th minute but it was a tame effort from 20 yards that Idzi collected comfortably. The Old Gold responded moments later when Knott launched a long throw into the packed goalmouth where Harling rose high to produce a promising header that was denied only by a skilful reflex save from Morris.

Then just as a goal-less draw was looking increasingly inevitable Town went ahead on 81 minutes with a goal worthy of winning any match. As they broke quickly out of defence on the counter-attack, Harling delivered an outstanding cross-field pass into the path of Sheehan who was racing upfield along the right flank – he took the ball forward then released a spectacular 25 yard drive that flew into the top corner of the net leaving Morris well beaten.

The Bluebirds staged a spirited revival in search of a late equaliser, the home defence extinguished any hope of that occurring to ensure that the Old Gold captured the three valuable points.

The game was also a landmark for Nicky Palmer who made his 300th appearance in the Welsh Premier League.

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Haverfordwest County ask fans to stay away as football returns to Bridge Meadow

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HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY has asked fans not to attend the Bridge Meadow Stadium today, March 6, as the club restarts its JD Cymru Premier campaign.

The Bluebirds take on Cardiff Met in a game that kicks off at 2:30pm but, like all fixtures in the Cymru Premier, the game is being played behind closed doors.

A club statement asks fans not to congregate outside the stadium and adds that there are ‘rigorous protocols’ for those who must attend.

A spokesperson said: “Haverfordwest County AFC would like to urge all fans to stay at home for (the) fixture against Cardiff Met. For the foreseeable future, all matches will remain behind closed doors.

“The club, along with Welsh Government guidelines, explicitly forbids the congregation of fans outside the stadium to watch the game. There are numerous precautions in place to ensure that those who must attend the game, stick to rigorous protocols to remain safe.

“All match highlights will be available post-match, via Sgorio. We look forward to welcoming fans back to the Bridge Meadow, when it is safe to do so.”

The Club says that this will apply to all future home matches.

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Signed Wales shirts gifted to RNLI go up for auction

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FOLLOWING a winning start to the Six Nations Tournament, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have scored a winning try for the RNLI, gifting six signed rugby shirts to help save lives at sea.

Each rugby shirt has been signed by the full WRU squad and are accompanied by a certificate of authentication – a winning prize for any Welsh rugby fan.

To avoid a ruck for the WRU shirts the charity has placed all six signed shirts on an online auction, ensuring a fair game for all who wish to win the golden prize. The auction will be live until Wednesday, March 31, which allows plenty of time for supporters to bid for the team in red.

Each signed shirt includes Wales Captain, Mumbles RNLI supporter and the most capped international player of all time Alun Wyn Jones; as well as Louis Rees-Zammit, the Man of the Match in the nail-biting Scotland v Wales game.

Nick Evans, RNLI Fundraising and Partnership Lead said: ‘On behalf of the charity I would like to say a big thank you to the Welsh Rugby Union for donating these fantastic prizes to the RNLI. RNLI volunteers are on call 24-7 and are often called away from important events such as family celebrations – or international rugby tournaments – to respond to the pager if someone is in trouble at sea.

‘Like all charities, 2020 was a challenging year for the RNLI when all traditional fundraising had to stop – all our shops were closed, there were no collections and all events had to be cancelled. This is why we at the RNLI are so grateful to all the team at WRU for their ongoing support. The auction is now live and we would like to encourage all Wales rugby supporters to throw the RNLI a lifeline and place their bid for the winning prize.’

To place a bid or find out more about the charity auction please visit https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/rnliwru.

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Sport

Five subs to be allowed for JD Cymru Premier clubs

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THE FAW’s National Leagues Board has confirmed that JD Cymru Premier clubs will be permitted to make five substitutions in matches, in accordance with the Laws of the Game, until the end of the 2020-21 top-flight season.

FIFA extended the use of the rule, which was first introduced following the COVID-19 outbreak, citing “player welfare” as part of the reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.

FIFA stated that “Some competitions which resumed in 2020 may have a shorter-than-usual recovery/preparation period before the start of their next season.”

“For many competitions, the 2020/21 season will involve matches being played in a condensed period due to a delayed start and the inability to end later than usual because of major international tournaments.”

With the JD Cymru Premier set to restart on March 2, the National Leagues Board has approved the use of the rule in the JD Cymru Premier until the end of the current campaign.

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