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Rooks off the bottom with deserved point

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Equaliser: Haydn Shapcott’s corner was punched into his own net by the Dragons keeper

Equaliser: Haydn Shapcott’s corner was punched into his own net by the Dragons keeper

Carew 1

West Dragons 1

CAREW moved off the bottom of Division One for the first time since October and in doing so put a serious dent in West Dragons’ title aspirations.

The visitors came into the match having suffered a surprise defeat in the Senior Cup away at Fishguard Sports, but they had a full complement of players at their disposal as their team sheet included four players who lined up for Pembrokeshire in their match against Carmarthenshire last month.

Carew had not played a home game since December 12th due to the horrific weather conditions that have blighted the season, but finally they were able to get a fixture on, and the pitch held up well despite the driving wind and rain that blighted the game.

Defending against the wind in the first half, Carew spent the majority of the game camped in their own third, but no matter how much the Dragons attack puffed, they could not find a way through an organised and rigid backline.

Carew were winning the midfield battle, with the youthful combination of Morgan Scourfield, Iwan Izzard and Alex Bayley covering every blade of grass to stop the visitors from mounting at the source.

The hosts had a couple of chances of their own on the counter attack, but Dean Morris and Bayley couldn’t find the target with their efforts.

With the sides seemingly heading towards a first half stalemate, the Dragons were awarded an innocuous free kick just inside the Carew half. Jordy Thomas drilled the ball towards the edge of the penalty area and centre half Shaun Whitfield inadvertently headed the ball goalwards in the swirling wind. Keeper Dan James caught the ball and fell to the goal line and with a solo Dragons player appealing that the ball had crossed the line the referee turned down the shout and told the teams to play on.

However keeper James displayed great sportsmanship to tell the referee that the ball had in fact crossed the line. The goal was given and the Dragons went in with a 1-0 advantage. It was testament to the home keeper that he had said the ball had gone in, and it is an act you may not have seen from many other sides in the Pembrokeshire League set-up.

Despite that setback, Carew knew that with the wind now behind their backs they were well in the game and came out in buoyant fashion.

They hit the visitors with a 15-minute burst of flowing attacking football, with Sam Goodwin making use of the right hand channel to create several chances, which were repelled by the brilliant Peter Blain in the Dragons goal.

From another Goodwin attack Carew won a corner, and Haydn Shapcott whipped a fierce delivery under the Dragons crossbar, which Blain could only punch into his own net to level proceedings.

The final 20 minutes saw further chances for the hosts go begging as Ceri Brace and Dean Morris were guilty of misses, whereas the Dragons couldn’t muster one shot in the second half despite reverting to three up top, with the wind preventing them from any meaningful attacks.

The game finished 1-1 that left both teams disappointed, though in reality the visitors can have no complaints as they were outplayed on the day.

Saturday sees the Dragons entertain Tenby, whilst Carew go to Angle in what is sure to be another crunch game in their fight for survival.

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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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