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Bluebirds suffer penalty heartbreak



Ricky-WattsHaverfordwest County 2
Goytre United 2
(after extra time: Goytre won 5-4 on penalties)
THE Bluebirds bowed out of the Nathaniel Car Sales Welsh League Cup after losing on penalties to Goytre United on Saturday.
The Bluebirds led twice but were eventually beaten in a penalty shoot-out.
The home side dominated the first quarter of the game but could not force an opening.
Declan Carroll looked promising and tested the Goytre keeper with two good low efforts.
After a fine run from Lewis, he crossed the ball into the danger area but Joey Leahy was inches away from making contact.
Goytre responded late in the first half and the Bluebirds were grateful for Sam Roden’s timely intervention.
Keeper Chris Curtis then had to be alert to push out a Goytre corner from under his crossbar.
The first half ended goalless but within a minute of the restart the Blues were in front.
Lewis curled a free kick into the box and Sam Roden was on hand to power home the header.
The home side continued to create chances but Goytre were still in the game.
They equalised in the 85th minute through former Bluebird and Goytre’s player-manager Andy Hill to send the game into extra time
Haverfordwest made the breakthrough in the 100th minute. A corner from Lewis came to Greg Walters whose powerful shot took a deflection before appearing to go in off Williams.
The blues pushed on looking to kill the game but as legs grew weary, Goytre seized their opportunity.
After Sean Pemberton was sent off for a second bookable offence, Sam Wade drew the teams level with a fine strike.
Neither side could find a late winner meaning the game would have to be settled by penalties.
Goytre just edged out their opponents beating Haverfordwest 5-4.
This Saturday the Bluebirds return to league action, as they travel to Caerau Ely.
Haverfordwest County: Chris Curtis, Ricky Watts (Martyn Carroll, 55); Antonio Facciuto, Sam Roden; Dale Griffiths, Sean Pemberton, Ashley Curtis (Steffan Williams, 55), Jack Britton, Declan Carroll (Greg Waters, 67), Joey Leahy, Richie Lewis.

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This week’s Pembrokeshire rugby round up – 25/11/23



THERE was plenty of rugby to choose from up and down the county last weekend. We round up the latest results, as Pembrokeshire based teams experienced mixed fortunes. At the very top the Otters are unstoppable as they win again at home to Ystalyfera 57 points to 5. Gibby, Powell and Griffiths all impressed and the Narberth bench was full of quality and experience at this level demonstrating the strength in depth at the club. Key players like Slater and Rogers on the bench is a great sign for the Otters’ squad’s depth and options. 

Meanwhile in division two Tenby continued their good form as they beat Amman United 79-12. Dan Colley was the star of the show getting across the line an unbelievable fives times. Former Pembroke contingent Toby Smith, Tom Lewis, Luke Hartland and Geiraint Powell all also crossed the whitewash for the Seasiders. Twelve tries in total for the hosts and they look in formidable form. 

Also in the second division, Fishguard are looking strong as they had a much closer game but still came out on top beating Carmarthen Athletic 20-17. Having lost only two league games this season Fishguard will hope the keep up the pressure on the teams at the top of the league in the coming weeks. 

In the third division there wasn’t much success at all for Pembrokeshire based teams. Pembroke Dock Quins and Llangwm losing to Aberaeron and Cardigan respectively. While Laugharne comfortably beat Neyland. 

St Davids however were the exception to the rule as they had a day to remember scoring over 50 points against Llanybydder. It’s not very often the Saints hit those kind of numbers and is a huge positive for the club. Owain Swain crossed twice for the saints as well as Joyce and Raymond. Outside half Foster added points with the boot and all in all a great day at the office for the Saints. 

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Hakin United manager Justin Harding praises Vikings’ character



ANOTHER last gasp goal for the Vikings kept the title chase as close as it could possibly be. Hakin now sit top of the league, with Goodwick a single point behind but with a game in hand. It promises to be another exciting title race between the old rivals. We sat down and caught up with Hakin United manager Justin Harding, who has stepped up this season and is doing a great job at the helm.

Herald Another late goal yesterday to secure the three points, I’m guessing your teams increasing ability to battle to the final second is pleasing? 

Justin Another late goal I think shows the character of the boys within the squad. Their never say die attitude paid off in the end and I cannot fault their desire to win down to the final whistle. Only criticism is we need to start taking chances early on for us to relax a little and take the pressure off the back four & goal keeper.

Herald It looks to be a two horse race this season for the league, is the league your priority this season? 

Justin In my eyes, the league is always your bread and butter. You always have to strive to try and win the league most years. Sometimes that isn’t always the case, but it has to be any teams priority.

Herald A disappointing result for you in the senior cup, what have you learnt from that as a group? 

Justin Very disappointing. It’s a disappointing result but credit to Clarbeston Road on the day, they booked their spot in the next round, so we wish them best of luck. It hurts to lose a game of football when being involved in such a successful club, but we’ve stuck together and dug deep to keep moving forward.

Herald Would it be fair to describe Hakin as being in a bit of a transition period currently? Considering the changes you seem to have managed it very well. 

Justin A lot of people around the county wrote us off from the very outset even before any ball was kicked, when hearing about Scott davies and Anthony Mayhew stepping down after a successful spell, along with the loss of a few key players and myself taking the reins at such a young age. We’ve all stuck together, trained hard, our senior players have been great and we’ve integrated a lot of under sixteens into senior football who have hit the ground running and held their own in the second division. The committee and club as a whole are right behind us in what we do and I’ve got every confidence in those involved that going forward the success will remain high over the coming years.

Herald Who would you identify as your stand out players this season so far?

Justin I don’t like to pin point any individuals because everyone involved since I’ve taken over have been brilliant, hit the ground running and worked so hard in pre-season, whilst still continuing to work hard. However Jay Power and Jake Merry they have been superb as our two central defenders. A partnership that’ll play at our club for another 10 ormore years after both coming through the junior ranks together. They have performed fantastically as a pair and at the age of 22/23 respectively will be the future captains at Hakin United Football Club.

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Football Round Up 25/11/23



Goodwick United continue to impress as they yet again won, this time 5-0 away at Grange Albion in the capital. The venue and the kick off time was moved last minute however it didn’t seem to disrupt O’Sullivan’s men goals coming form Haworth, Dalling, Jones and O’Sullivan and a fourth clean sheet in a row meant it was plain sailing into the next round of the FAW Amatuer Trophy.

Closer to home a late goal from Jay Power ensured Hakin claimed all three points away to Carew who again for the second week running pushed the Vikings hard. James Hinchliffe grabbed a brace for the hosts who will be gutted to have conceeded so late after a good peformance. As predicted newly promoted Milford United gave Merlins Bridge a good game and it was a narrow 1-0 victory for the Haverfordwest based team thanks to a goal from Steffan Williams.

Neyland and Monkton Swifts couldn’t be sepearted as they drew 1-1 with the visitors ending the game with nine men after losing Steele and Ferrier to red cards. Dylan Davies opened the scoring for the Swifts after 15 minutes before Max Bowman Davies equalised after 39 minutes. It would be unfair to say the sending off’s had much of an impact on the result as they came very late in the contest. Neyland are likely to be the happier of the two with this result as the Swifts struggle to find form. Tenby came from behind to beat Pennar Robins 2-1 with goals from Muskett and Ferney in reply to Williams’ opener for the hosts. The result lifts them to fourth in the league and they will be pleased with their return of 15 points so far following their promotion last season. The Robins sit 9th on 9 points and with Neyland and Carew improving and both just a point behind them, they’ll be keen to pull away from the foot of the table sooner rather than later.

A tense local derby was expected in Little Castle Grove as Herbrandston hosted Hakin Reserves, having drawn 2-2 earlier in the season. However Galdo’s men took any prospect of a nervy final twenty minutes out of the picture as they were 4-0 after an hour played. Goals from Whatling, Plunkett (2) and key midfielder Beach put the result to bed. Lees added the fifth after 70 minutes and a clean sheet ensured a pretty perfect afternoon for the yellow and blacks. Monkton Swifts Reserves however just keep winning this time 6-1 at home to Carew Reserves. Liam Butland grabbing a brace and an assist as he takes his total league goals for the season to 12 already. A sign of the Swift’s strength is Butland not even being close to their leading scorer, William Davis scored twice yesterday to bring his total to 25 from 12 league games, not to mention the 6 assists. Carew continue to struggle and only Cosheston sit below them in the table as it stands. Meanwhile in the mid table battles Camrose and St Ishmaels drew 2-2, with the hosts coming back from 2-0 down with ten men, they will definitely be the happier of the two sides. Also in the mood for a comeback yesterday were Broad Haven they also showed good character to come back from 2-0 at home to St Clears it finished 2-2 here too.

In the second division cup Narberth hosted Merlins Bridge in the standout tie of the two, the hosts took the lead through Ashley Williams before subsitute Martin equalised for the visitors. Chris Brown restored the hosts lead, before Bridge had enough of the back and for and two assists for veteran Matthew D’Ivry set up Jago and Martin again to make it 3-2. Leahy then converted a penalty after 70 minutes and there was no looking back for Bridge as they progress into the next round. Meanwhile Johnston also secured their place in the next round after putting 7 past Cosheston, the visitors did manage two consolation goals but that’s all they were as they continue to struggle.

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