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Fawcett sends Bluebirds through in extra time

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TWO extra time goals from Ben Fawcett sent Haverfordwest County into the third round of the League Cup at the expense of holders Bridgend Street on Saturday (Sept 8).

The Street had beaten Haverfordwest County on their way to winning the Cup last season and the Bluebirds were out for some revenge in manager Wayne Jones’ first game in charge.

Both sides had chances early on but it was the Street who went ahead as Paul Fowler tucked away a penalty midway through the half.

The Bluebirds looked to get themselves back into the game and eight minutes before half time they did just that as Elliot Scotcher crossed into the box for Sean Pemberton to head home.

Then on the stroke of half time Trundle was brought down in the box and he was given the chance to put the Bluebirds into the lead. He made no mistake and the home side led 2-1 when referee Tom Bevan blew for half time.

Scotcher then saw a shot go just wide at the start of the second half before he again teed up Pemberton but this time his header was wide of the mark.

After some good build up play, Trundle played the ball through for Ricky Watts but he shot over the bar.

Ben Fawcett was then brought on for Trundle with fifteen minutes to go and he nearly had an instant impact but his header went wide.

Then with ten minutes to go the visitors levelled as the ball was played to Callum Smith after keeper Steve Hall had come out of his net and the striker shot into an empty net.

Smith then came close again moments later but his long range effort was pushed wide by Hall.

It looked as if the game would go to extra time but with four minutes left Leon Luby played an excellent ball to the back post for Jack Wilson who volleyed in superbly to make it 3-2.

There was still time for more drama when Fawcett won the ball back before going one on one with keeper Damian Lack who just got a hand on it to pluck the ball away.

Watts also saw a shot saved before Lack pulled a dangerous cross out of the air with Fawcett waiting to knock in.

With time running out Bridgend looked to force the game into extra time but Luby was in the right place as he cleared a David Brooks effort off the line.

In the last minute of time added on captain Paul Fowler unleashed an unstoppable shot which flew into the top left hand corner of the net.

An extra thirty minutes was needed to see if the teams could be separated and it was the Street who nearly went ahead when White flicked through for Brooks but his shot was saved.

Smith then saw a shot go over before Fraser Finlay hit the post for the Bluebirds.

Six minutes into extra time Fawcett fired into the top corner to put the home side into the lead.

Five minutes later a corner wasn’t cleared properly and sub Michael Nessbert lashed the ball into the net to level the scores once again.

Bridgend again had another chance to score but it remained 4-4 when the whistle went for half time.

The second half of extra time got underway with the Bluebirds looking to get themselves back into the lead for the fourth time.

They did just two minutes in as Ricky Watts won the ball well on the edge of the box and he crossed to the back post for Wilson who headed back across into the middle for Fawcett who headed in.

Wilson then saw a header saved as the home side looked to make the game safe.

Bridgend pushed for another equaliser but tempers boiled over as Brooks was shown a second yellow card for a kick out and goalscorer Nessbert was also given his marching orders for what appeared to be dissent.

They then saw the game out to book their place in the next round and they will look forward to seeing who they will be drawn against.

Before that the Bluebirds will return to league action on Saturday, September 15, when they play at home to Afan Lido, kick off 2:30pm.

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Bluebirds bag last-gasp draw

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JD Cymru Premier League • Haverfordwest County 1 – Caernarfon Town 1

A LAST minute Danny Williams equaliser secured a deserved point for the Bluebirds after a dominant performance at the Bridge Meadow.

The tone for the game was set in the first minute, as only a last-ditch tackle denied Cameron Keetch a shot at goal after he latched on to a lofted pass. The opening 15 minutes were relatively quiet, Tibbets comfortably saved a Sean Pemberton header and Matt Turner stopped Mike Hayes in his track as he had the ball in the box.

The Bluebirds enjoyed a lot of possession in these opening minutes, playing some good football on the pristine surface. The first real chance came as an Elliot Scotcher corner ricocheted around the box before it was cleared off the line. Just 5 minutes later, Scotcher himself hit the post from an excellently struck free-kick from just outside the penalty area. The next chance fell to Marcus Griffiths who couldn’t quite get on the end of a low cross across the face of goal.

Some bad news for the Bluebirds, Cameron Keetch departed the pitch on the 29th minute after suffering an injury, he was replaced by super-sub Jack Wilson. He was straight into the action as he was played through by Ben Fawcett, but he curled his effort just wide of the post. Matt Turner then saved a well-struck free-kick from the edge of the Bluebirds penalty area. Jack Wilson had the final chance of the half as his curling effort from the right skimmed over the bar. A stalemate at halftime, but the Bluebirds on top.

The second half began as the first ended, this time is was Gruffydd John with a last-ditch tackle to deny Danny Williams. After Sean Pemberton headed wide, Danny Williams played a lofted ball through to Jack Wilson, who headed over Tibbets but Joe Williams cleared the ball off the line. Then, 4 minutes later, Wilson repaid the favour as he sent a lofted ball for Williams to chase, but Tibbets saved his lob attempt.

The Bluebirds continued to create chance after chance. Jack Wilson had a strike cleared off the line, again and Marcus Griffiths saw his header saved by Tibbets.

Against the run of play, Caernarfon took the lead on 74 minutes. Mendes picked up a cross at the back post and squared for Mike Hayes who couldn’t miss.

The setback didn’t deter the Bluebirds who continued to press.

In the space of a minute, Jack Wilson, Dan Summerfield and Jack Wilson all had shots blocked in the penalty area. Jack Wilson then turned provider as his long throw met the head of Sean Pemberton but his effort was over the bar.

With 94 minutes on the clock, Jack Wilson went racing down the right, squared for Danny Williams, and he did the rest from a few yards out with the final kick of the game.

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Wales gear up for Paris

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Wales face Les Bleus in Paris in what will be their first match since March.

It is one kicking and skills coach Jenkins is looking forward to.

“It is nice to be back. It has been tough since March, but to be involved now and have the boys back is great,” said the former fly-half.

“It’s doing things a little bit differently to what we are normally used to, but the boys have had a head start and been very good helping us.

“We understand what is going on, both at home and in France, and we respect that 100 per cent.

“We are there to do a job, we are there to represent our country, and I would like to think we are going to do that as best as we possibly can both on and off the pitch.

“We will adhere to everything that is required of us, hopefully play a very good game on Saturday, and do our utmost to win the Test match and try and pick the nation up.

“It’s brutal for everyone whether you are a sportsperson or a non-sportsperson. It is not an easy situation at this moment in time. I hope we can put some smiles on faces.

“We want to win, plain and simple. We have lost our last few games. We are here to play well and we are here to win Test matches.”

France got the better of Wales in the Six Nations at the start of the year before Covid-19 struck.

“It seems an incredibly long time ago. People might disagree, but for me it was a Test match I believe we should have won. We had opportunities,” Jenkins said.

“We gave probably 14 points away if I am brutally honest. We left a number of opportunities out there.”

Both sides will use the game to warm-up for their remaining Six Nations clashes and then their Autumn Nations Cup campaigns.

On questions regarding Josh Navidi’s involvement, Jenkins added: “He is going through his protocols and we will see how he goes this week and for the weeks coming up.”

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New Welsh rugby kit launched

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THE NEW Macron Wales kit, to be worn for the first time against France in Paris on October 24, has been unveiled simultaneously in the private changing rooms of the national team headquarters in Hensol and the Wales Women squad’s current base in Swansea University.

Jonathan Davies and Ross Moriarty were joined ‘virtually’ by Wales Women captain Siwan Lillicrap and Gwen Crabb to reveal the kit against a backdrop of jerseys from the community game in Wales which have also been produced by the WRU’s new official technical partner.

The launch of the new kit has taken on a post-Covid feel with both squads currently training in respective ‘bubbles’ and so the community aspect of the partnership – £1m of free kit to be supplied yearly to Welsh rugby clubs over six years – has been reflected by a display of existing Macron community rugby shirts.

A set of unique features sees the red dragon of the Welsh flag embossed across lower back of the shirt, an embossed pattern covering the sleeves – cleverly transforming the hexagonal shape of the WRU three-feathers logo into ‘dragon scales’ – and the Welsh word ANRHYDEDD (honour), also embossed, on the back of the collar.

The ‘away‘ version is a black jersey with a white v-neck collar, this time tipped with red trim that is also found on the sleeves and cuffs.

Both sleeves again feature an all over embossed pattern, but this time a geometric graphic brings a new age look to the garment.

The Welsh dragon is once again embossed on the lower back and another Welsh word, ANGERDD (passion) is embossed on the back of the collar.

“The new kit is striking representation of Welsh rugby tradition and we are delighted to be able to launch our new seven-year partnership with Macron in such a spectacular way,” said WRU CEO Steve Phillips.

“We are delighted with the bespoke kit, training and leisurewear Macron has provided so far, where Italian design meets Welsh passion with impressive results.

“And we are sure that the Welsh rugby watching public will be equally impressed when they get their hands on their favourite pieces in the expansive product range available.”

Wales Women will wear the kit in action for the first time against Scotland in their own postponed Six Nations clash on November 1 and, from next season, Macron’s affinity with Welsh rugby will increase even further when the first instalment of £6m worth of kit over six years, is supplied to the clubs in the community game throughout Wales.

“The Welsh Rugby Union represents one of the pillar stones of world rugby and for Macron to stand side by side with this sporting giant, means that we as a brand, have reached yet another great milestone,” said Macron‘s CEO Gianluca Pavanello.

“Our goal is for the new kits to be instantly recognisable and something that clearly express the Welsh identity and spirit. We hope that our hard work has paid off and that the new collection will be loved by players and fans alike and that the kits evoke the emotion that such a great nation deserves.”

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