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Reds given the Blues by County

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HAVERFORDWEST County pulled off an MG Cup first round shock on Tuesday (Aug 28), as they beat Welsh Premier League side Llanelli Town at the Bridge Meadow.

Perhaps with one eye on Friday’s (Aug 31) encounter with Aberystwyth Town, the Reds rested a few of their players but still featured James Loveridge who scored in Llanelli’s game with Barry last Friday (Aug 24).

The Bluebirds were also without a number of their key players, including former Llanelli Town striker Lee Trundle but the youthful Bluebirds did not seem to miss his presence on the pitch.

There was a cagey start to the match with both teams giving the ball away and testing the other keepers with a few long range efforts.

James Loveridge came close for the visitors when he broke free of the defenders but his shot was well saved by County keeper Steve Hall.

Jordan Follows also looked lively but he saw a number of efforts blocked as the Bluebirds defended well.

Jack Wilson then played the ball into the box for Fraser Finlay but his shot was plucked out of the air by Reds keeper Oliver Davies.

Then with fifteen minutes on the clock Wilson picked up the ball in his own half and went on a mazy run which saw him lay the ball off for Tom Dyson who in turn passed back to Wilson who ran on to slot the ball into the bottom right corner for a fine opening goal.

Dyson was then unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his rasping 25-yard drive smacked back off the crossbar and was cleared from danger.

Wilson then saw a shot go just wide as the Bluebirds continued to have more of the possession.

Hall was then forced into a save by Robert Thomas as his long drive looked to be going in before Hall got his hands on the ball.

On the stroke of half time Llanelli almost got themselves back in the game as a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with as Follows stole the ball only to send his shot into the side netting.

It remained 1-0 at half time but the home side knew they would face a fight back in the second half.

Both sides had chances early on in the second half but it was the Bluebirds who got the all-important second goal.

Twenty minutes in a corner from Finlay found Ben Fawcett whose header flew into the net to give the home side one foot in the next round.

Their place was secured five minutes from time as sub Martyn Carroll squared into the box for Finlay who fired in for a deserved goal.

The Bluebirds will now look forward to seeing who they play in the next round while Llanelli will look to concentrate on their Premier League campaign.

Haverfordwest return to Welsh League action on Saturday, September 1, as they take on Briton Ferry Llansawel at the Bridge Meadow, kick off 2.30pm.

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Veteran Vikings on top

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HAKIN United are top of the Welsh Veterans League following a 6-0 victory over Nelson Cavaliers at the Observatory last Sunday (Nov 11).

The result puts the Vikings one point ahead of current Champions Trefelin BGC, with the Port Talbot outfit having a game in hand.

However, last Sunday, despite the final score, It was Nelson that were missing the early chances with Hakin goalkeeper Jason Morgan saving a one on one and a penalty before Hakin took the lead midway through the first half.

Stuart MacDonald broke down the left and set up Matthew Price for a tap in to make it 1-0.

Minutes later, Hakin doubled their lead as Michael McCarthy headed home a MacDonald corner.

Just before half time, McCarthy put Price in the clear and the striker hammered a shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Early in the second half, Nelson missed another penalty before Price set up McCarthy to score from close range.

Ali Davies put Leigh Walters through to lift the ball over the keeper for number five and the same two players combined again for Walters to score his second, beating the keeper at his post.

Hakin next play in the Welsh Veterans Cup Preliminary Round away to Pencoed Athletic on Sunday (Nov 25).

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Gerard Gray, Nigel Delaney, Richard Bland, Adam Collins, Ali Davies, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Michael McCarthy, Leigh Waters, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Nigel Armstrong, Matthew Price, Stuart MacDonald, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Blues too good for Neyland

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HAVERFORDWEST closed the gap to leaders Neyland as they condemned them to a second defeat in as many games on Saturday (Nov 10).

The Blues made a good start and it was Craig Barnett who put them into the lead with a try which he then converted. Barnett then added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Haverfordwest continued to put the pressure on and Barnett extended their lead with a penalty.

Barnett then added two further penalties before half time to give his side a 16-0 lead at the break.

Both sides had chances to score at the start of the second half but errors meant the score stayed the same.

Patrick Bellerby came close to scoring for the All Blacks but Haverfordwest defended well to keep him out.

At the other end a Neyland clearance kick was blocked and kicked on with Barnett giving chase but he was beaten to the ball by Bellerby and Neyland were able to clear.

The visitors then went up the other end and came close to scoring but they gave the ball away. The referee was not happy with the scrums and after three attempts gave a penalty to Neyland from which Luke Griffiths-Dawes dived over. George Evans sent the resulting penalty wide.

Any thoughts Neyland had of making a comeback were quickly dashed as Jamie Zambas increased the home side’s lead with a converted try.

Neyland did pull another try back late on through Craig Power and Evans converted but it wasn’t enough as the Blues saw the game out.

The All Blacks are still top of the table but Haverfordwest are now just a point behind. Milford lie in third, two points behind with two games in hand on their rivals.

The teams are next in action on Saturday, November 24, when leaders Neyland travel to St Davids and Haverfordwest are also away to Llanybydder.

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Bluebirds through in thriller

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HAVERFORDWEST County scored late on to seal their progress into round three of the JD Welsh Cup on Saturday (Nov 10) as they beat Swansea University 4-3 at the Bridge Meadow.

A good crowd gathered for the game and they witnessed a thriller as the Bluebirds went two goals up only for Swansea to peg them back to 2-2 before half time.

Sean Pemberton grabbed the winning goal late on and the home side will now look forward to their third round tie.

The home side looked to take an early advantage and they made the breakthrough after ten minutes when Lee Trundle played an excellent ball into the middle for Ben Fawcett who fired into the bottom left corner.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0 the ball was played through for Trundle who ran onto it and fired in to the bottom left from the penalty spot.

It looked as if the Bluebirds might go in at half time with the lead but Swansea were soon back into it with ten minutes to go.

The Uni side won a corner and after it wasn’t cleared properly the ball fell to Declan McAde who rifled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

They weren’t done there and three minutes later the ball was played into the box and was touched in by the unfortunate Tim Hicks with the Uni’s Levi Houapeu in close proximity.

There was still time for more first half drama and it came a minute later when Trundle again played the ball through for Fawcett who scored his second of the game.

The Students were then given a penalty after Houapeu was fouled but keeper Steve Hall made an excellent save to keep the score at 3-2.

Hall was called upon in the second half to keep his side ahead with more good saves while at the other end Danny Williams came close to scoring.

With ten minutes to go the Students brought themselves back level as Houapeu put the ball in the net and all of a sudden an upset was on the cards.

It looked as if extra time would be needed but two minutes from the end Jack Wilson threw the ball into the box for Sean Pemberton who drove the ball in.

The Bluebirds saw the game out and the whistle brought an end to a thrilling cup tie.

The draw for Round three was made on Monday (Nov 12), and the Bluebirds were drawn at home against fellow Welsh League Division 1 side Pontypridd Town.

Before that they will return to action in Division 1 on Saturday (Nov 17) as they travel to fourth placed Cwmbran Celtic.

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