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County relegated after 4th straight loss

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Dafabet Welsh Premier League

Aberystwyth Town 3

Haverfordwest County 1

Aber’s Chris Venables: Pressured by Bluebirds Nicky Palmer

Aber’s Chris Venables: Pressured by Bluebirds Nicky Palmer

HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY were relegated on Friday (Apr 8) as they returned from their trip to Aberystwyth Town with a fourth straight defeat, meaning they have only picked up two points since the league split in January.

Their only hope of remaining in the league now stands with the potential relegation of Port Talbot, who have failed to obtain a license for next season, or with clubs in the promotion places from the divisions below also failing to obtain a license.

Man of the Match Craig Williams opened the scoring for Aber on 10 minutes, only for Luke Borelli to level the scores six minutes later.

The Black and Greens improved after the break and Williams created the chance for Chris Venables to lob a second on the hour, before sending in a corner, which Rhys Griffiths headed goal bound, for Sean Pemberton to complete the scoring with a headed own goal on 71 minutes.

On a drizzly night a pre match Club Photo ensured a decent turnout of 404, and a lively Friday night atmosphere at Park Avenue. Visitors Haverfordwest created the first chance when Borelli’s ball in from the left fell for stand in centre forward Sean Pemberton, but he could only tap it back to Mike Lewis in Aber’s goal.

Another Borelli cross was gathered by Lewis, but then came the first moment of real quality when Geoff Kellaway picked out Craig Williams out on the left, and the Taff’s Well Touchline Terror hit a sumptuous lob first time over Craig Morris’ head to open the scoring: a brilliant strike. Chris Venables tried another lob minutes later, but then the visitors equalised when the impressive Greg Walters managed to pick out Borelli at the back stick, and he tapped home. Pemberton headed wide again, Kellaway had a flick saved as did Borelli, and then Ross Stephens picked out Venables at the back post, but he headed inches wide, and a generally disappointing first half ended 1-1.

The second half started with the visitors creating most of the chances, with Pemberton having a low shot saved, and heading wide, but then on the hour the game turned when Williams cut inside from the left after a positive run and his low shot brought a save from Morris which spooned the ball into the air, and Venables managed to hook the ball over the goalkeeper to score with an instinctive lob which brought his season tally to 17, back on top of the Golden Boot List.

With the Dias Stand dancing, Rhys Griffiths released Kellaway through with a deft touch, and his shot was parried inches wide by Morris, but then the killer third came when Williams’ corner from the left was perfect for Griffiths to direct a strong header goal bound, which deflected in off the unfortunate Pemberton’s head.

Aber still had some defending to do, with Stephens, Lee Surman and Antonio Corbisiero making crucial blocks to defend their lead. Walters curled an effort wide, and then late on sub Liam Jaques set up Williams for another blocked effort, and the game ended at 3-1: a testament to Wyn Thomas and his Players’ desire to get a result when it really mattered.

This precious victory keeps Aber right in the running for the UEFA Europa League Play Offs, and with seventeen points garnered from their eight post split game to date, the Black and Greens can confidently look forward to another important clash at Carmarthen Town next Saturday afternoon.

For County it is a huge match against fellow relegated side Rhyl, as a victory would move them level on points, with the hope of leap-frogging their opponents on the final day of the season and giving them a slim hope of survival by bureaucratic means.

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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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