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Hudgell heads Goodwick to Cup glory

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GOODWICK United’s Lee Hudgell headed his side to a second West Wales Cup win in two years as they beat Penlan 1-0 in the West Wales Cup Final at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

The Pheonix boys won the Cup in 2016 as part of their historic treble winning season and they were keen to get their hands on the cup once again.

There was a good crowd of 674 and they witnessed a close game which could have gone either way.

Goodwick nearly went ahead after thirty seconds as Jordan Griffiths won the ball and headed on to Lee Hudgell who crossed into the box for Jonny Horgan but his volleyed effort went wide.

With five minutes gone Griffiths played Horgan in down the left but his shot again went just wide of the right hand post.

On eight minutes Wayne O’Sullivan brought down Penlan’s Darren Rowe on the edge of the box giving them a good opportunity. Dale Otten took the kick but Jamees Gwilt made an excellent save to deny him.

Moments later Jordan Griffiths danced his way through a number of players in the box but his shot was eventually saved by Penlan keeper Marcus Collins and the rebound was blocked wide.

Penlan’s Luke Chappell then came close but his curled effort went wide of the right hand post. Luke Dallin also found space down the left but his cross was blocked well by Stefan Hayes.

With twenty minutes gone Chappell won the ball back and Dallin took over but his shot also went wide of the posts.

Goodwick’s Horgan was causing problems down the left and when he was fouled after he made a cross the referee blew for a free kick and Kyle Barrett picked up the first yellow card of the game. The free kick was sent into the box but straight into the arms of the Penlan keeper.

Penlan’s Dallin then passed into the middle for Rowe but his goalbound effort was saved by Gwilt.

Kieran O’Brien then found space to run into the Penlan half and he passed to Griffiths but his shot on the turn was blocked.

Penlan looked to break and a great pass found Barrett but as he was about to pull the trigger, Llyr Tobin got back to make an excellent tackle.

Six minutes before half time, Dallin found Chappell whose shot was saved well by Gwilt but it wouldn’t have counted had it gone in as the linesman flagged for offside.

Dallin was proving a handful for Goodwick and he won a free kick on the left edge of the box which he took and had to be blocked wide by Goodwick’s defenders.

The half time whistle went with the score still locked at 0-0 and both sides were still in with a chance of lifting the cup.

There was a scrappy start to the second half as both sides committed fouls, one of which saw Wayne O’Sullivan booked.

It was Goodwick who had the first real chance of the second half ten minutes in as Hudgell crossed into the box but the ball was headed over by Penlan, away from the waiting O’Brien. From the resulting corner Horgan’s kick was headed in at the front post by Lee Hudgell.

Griffiths then had a chance to double Goodwick’s lead but his effort was blocked wide for a corner.

With twenty minutes to go, Goodwick’s Chris O’Sullivan was injured and he had to be brought off and replaced by Matty Delaney.

Matty was straight in on the action as he beat his man down the left before running into the box and stopping on the byline. Penlan keeper Collins came for the ball and appeared to catch Matty but no penalty was given.

Llyr Tobin was then sent off with ten minutes to go for a second bookable offence and Goodwick would have to hold on with ten men.

Penlan sent a number of crosses into the box but Goodwick dealt with them well. Otten had a chance from one such cross but he gave away a foul as he headed over.

James Gwilt, who had not had much to do, was alert as he punched away another free kick and the rebound was fired over.

Four minutes of added time were signalled and Gwilt again did well to pluck a dangerous cross out of the air.

Gwilt punched another free kick away and that sent Johnny Horgan through but his shot went agonisingly wide of the posts.

Penlan pushed but the final whistle went meaning Goodwick were West Wales Cup Champions yet again!

After the match, the Herald caught up with keeper Gwilt who said: “We’re delighted, the boys worked extremely hard and we ground it out and managed to win the cup.

“I’ve got a great back four in front of me so they make my life easy and we managed to keep them out so it is a great win.”

Chris O’Sullivan added: “It’s great for the club, for what it does throughout the season, it’s a great compliment to our team. It’s a professionally run club and everybody deserves it, they’ve worked hard for it.

“Both teams created a lot of chances first half and could have taken the lead. 0-0 at half time was a bit disappointing because we had some great chances but we knew we were always going to create chances and it was just a case of taking one of those and we know how to see a game out, we’re really well drilled and once we scored I was confident in seeing it through.”

Asked how the sending off affected the team, Chris said: “We work on things like that, we banked up with two banks of four, a coach of mine taught me that really well, Sean Cresser, so that experience in working alongside him helped us today, it worked, we’ve seen it out so it’s great for the club.”

Sport

Collins’ stunner earns win for Veterans

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A STUNNING strike from Hakin left back Adam Collins ensured that the Veteran Vikings earned maximum points and remain top of the Welsh Veterans League after a hard fought 4-3 win at home to Coedeva Athletic last Sunday (Feb 17).

However, on a very windy day, the Vikings found themselves behind early on as Gareth Hinwood scored from the penalty spot.

Hakin were soon level though, when Stuart MacDonald set up Matthew Price to score from close range.

Richard Nash gave Hakin the lead scoring via a deflection and Paul Andrews levelled matters for Coedeva before the break, as his shot from distance also took a deflection.

Early in the second half, Michael McCarthy beat the Coedeva keeper to a ball to make it 3-2 from close range and almost immediately, Coedeva were level after another Gareth Hinwood penalty.

Inside the final quarter, a stunning left footed strike from Adam Collins found the top corner from distance to give Hakin the win.

Hakin next play on Sunday, March 3, at home to Swansea University in the semi-final of the Welsh Veterans Cup.

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Nigel Armstrong, Richard Bland, Nigel Delaney, Adam Collins, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Stuart MacDonald, Michael McCarthy, Matthew Price, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Leigh Walters, Simon Rocke, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Sport

Saints do the double

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ST CLEARS completed the double over Neyland as they earned a 4-0 win on Saturday (Feb 16).

The Saints, who were forced into a re-shuffle at the back and without one of their midfielders, had beaten them 5-2 at home the previous week and Neyland would have been looking for some revenge.

However, it was the Saints who started strongly and took a deserved lead from a short corner. Jonny Thomas found Steve Thomas unmarked in the box and he headed home.

Both teams had chances to score but Saints keeper James Dickson made a few good saves to keep their 1-0 lead in tact.

The visitors eventually got the second goal of the game following good individual play by Will Evans.

Evans then added his second directly from a free kick to make it 3-0. They then rounded off a good day as Sean Seymour Davies latched onto a long ball to score and make it 4-0.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Neyland are away to Goodwick while St Clears welcome Merlins Bridge.

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Sport

Jones’ late drop goal earns win for Blues

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HAVERFORDWEST moved up to second place in League 3 West A on Saturday (Feb 16), as they beat Neyland with a late drop goal.

It was a tight game with both sides battling well but it was the Blues who went ahead early on as Craig Barnett scored a penalty.

Barnett then scored another soon after to put the visitors into a 0-6 lead and it remained that way until the half time whistle.

Early in the second half Neyland were back in it as they scored a penalty to make the score 3-6.

Mark Riley then put Neyland ahead as he was credited with a pushover try but the conversion was missed and the All Blacks led by two points.

Haverfordwest pushed on looking for a winning score and when a try wasn’t forthcoming the ball was sent back to Mikey Jones who kept calm to send a drop goal through the posts.

That put the Blues one point ahead at 8-9 and there was little time for the home side to respond.

The All Blacks do pick up the consolation of a losing bonus point but that will not do much to lift their spirits after they were dropped to fourth in the table following other results.

The Blues now sit second with Aberaeron breathing down their necks having played three games less.

There is no game on Saturday (Feb 23), as Wales take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The sides return to action on Saturday, March 2, when Haverfordwest host Llanybydder and Neyland host St Davids.

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